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Tuesday July 30, 2002

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


News Release

Social Security Administration's Multi-Language Gateway Internet Site Given E-Gov 2002 Explorer Award
(aquí en español)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has received the E-Gov 2002 Explorer Award for its Multi-Language Gateway internet site. The site -- -- provides valuable Social Security information online in 15 different languages, including information on interpreter services in each of those 15 languages.

"The Social Security Administration wants all Americans to have access to the services we provide," said Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security. "We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts in communicating with people in their preferred language. The agency will continue to develop and implement innovative technology that improves the services we deliver to the public."

SSA's Multi-Language Gateway was launched in April 2001. The site is a way of ensuring that people have access to accurate information about Social Security programs in their preferred language. Users of the Multi-Language Gateway will find important information about Social Security retirement, survivors and disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits. This site explains each of the benefit programs, the requirements to qualify for benefits and how to apply. Each language also includes an explanation of Social Security's policy to supply an interpreter, upon request, free of charge to people who do not speak English.

Information about Social Security is available in the following languages:

Arabic Greek Portugese
Armenian Haitian-Creole Russian
Chinese Italian Spanish
Farsi Korean Tagalog
French Polish Vietnamese

The site is designed to fill a clear demand for service. Last year, approximately 2.4 million people—10 percent of people doing business with SSA—preferred to deal with the Agency in a language other than English.

E-Gov is an organization comprised of professionals in marketing and education who have worked with technology in government and industry for more than twenty years. Their main focus is to foster communication and business between buyers and sellers of technology and services to facilitate changes in government. E-Gov's awards highlight federal, state, local and international government programs that have successfully implemented user-friendly online initiatives.

"The awards submissions were very impressive, making the selection process quite difficult," said Alisoun Moore, member of the selection committee and CIO, Montgomery County, Maryland. "These winning applications are models for effective E-Government, and the scope and capabilities they provide offers an exciting glimpse at the future of Electronic Government."

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SSA Press Office 449 Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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