Commissioner Astrue Returning to Massachusetts

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, has announced that he will be leaving the agency in February to return to his home in Massachusetts. Commissioner Astrue has completed a six-year term and has been serving under the holdover provisions of the agency's authorizing statute.

"I consider it a great privilege to have led this remarkable agency for six years," Commissioner Astrue said.

To read more about his tenure as Commissioner, please visit

New my Social Security Service for You and Your Clients

The hottest new online service of the new year is ready for you and your clients to use. my Social Security is an online account that allows people quick access to their personal Social Security information. During a person’s working years, my Social Security can be used to obtain a Social Security Statement to check his or her earnings record and see estimates of future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. For people who already receive Social Security benefits, the my Social Security service can be used to get a benefit verification letter, to check benefit payment information, to start or change direct deposit, and to let us know about a change of address or phone number. You and your clients can try it out now at

Learn more about how you can help your clients with my Social Security at our page designed for advocates, social service agencies, and other third parties. You’ll find it at

Commissioner Astrue Receives VIDA Award

Commissioner Astrue has received the 2013 VIDA Award from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The award honors leaders that exemplify the VIDA credo of Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy.

"Commissioner Astrue's commitment to all communities has defined his life. He is a man of principle and values that we respect and honor," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the Alliance. Commissioner Astrue received the award at the Alliance's 40th Anniversary celebration, held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Learn more by reading the press release at

Taxes and Social Security

Here are a few tax tips you can share with your clients who receive Social Security benefits.

Make sure all dependents listed on a taxpayer’s annual tax forms have Social Security numbers. Check the names and numbers to make sure they match up. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) checks all the names and Social Security numbers on tax returns against Social Security’s records. If the names and numbers do not match Social Security’s records, it could mean a delay in receiving any tax refund due.

If your client needs to pay taxes on benefits, he or she will need a Form SSA-1099 for tax year 2012. The 1099 shows the total amount of benefits received in the previous year. Social Security mails the forms to all beneficiaries by January 31. Anyone who has not yet received a 1099 for 2012 can request a replacement on or after February 1 at

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