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Fact Sheet


  • Beginning July 11, the public can apply for replacement Medicare Cards on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Internet site.
  • Applicants requesting a replacement card fill out the online form and send it electronically to SSA.
  • SSA uses the highest commercially available encryption to ensure that a beneficiary’s confidential information is secure as it travels over the Internet.
  • Requests are forwarded each day to the Health Care Financing Administration, which processes the requests and mails the new card to beneficiaries.


  • Earlier this year SSA launched Social Security e-news, an electronic newsletter available free to subscribers through the Agency’s Internet site. Subscribers sign-up by providing only their e-mail address.
  • Subscribers to Social Security e-news have several options available to them. Just by subscribing they will receive a monthly newsletter containing general Social Security news. The e-news stories relate to current program developments and related events and are geared to the information needs of both current workers and beneficiaries.
  • In addition to the monthly general newsletter, subscribers can also elect to receive timely news updates on ten specific topics such as disability, retirement, survivors, Press Office, wage reporting, etc.
  • SSA’s first Social Security e-news newsletter went out on March 1.
  • Social Security e-news currently has over 75,000 subscribers.


  • In May, President Clinton unveiled SSA’s new online retirement planner – an electronic service to help Americans better prepare for their financial future.
  • The Social Security Retirement Planner allows individuals to compute estimates of their future Social Security retirement benefits online at SSA’s Internet website.
  • The planner provides users with three options for obtaining an estimate of their Social Security retirement benefit –
    1. The Quick Calculator produces a very rough estimate that only requires people to provide their age and current earnings. Benefit estimates are provided for reduced retirement at age 62, full retirement age and age 70.
    2. The Online Calculator produces a benefit estimate based on past, present and projected future information that are input by users. Workers can create various scenarios such as when they plan to retire and how much they expect to earn in the future.
    3. For the Detailed and most elaborate estimate, an individual can download and install a software program on a personal computer (PC). The interactive program allows workers the most flexibility to customize their estimates based on differing scenarios and produces a variety of benefit numbers for retirement, survivors and disability benefits for both workers and their families.

NOTE: To maintain privacy and to protect records from unauthorized users, none of the calculators are linked to individual earnings records or any other information in SSA’s database. All benefit estimates are based strictly on input from the users.


  • Later this summer, SSA will be expanding the online Retirement Planner to include information about the interplay of pensions and savings in retirement planning. Features will also be added that will enable individuals to calculate survivors and disability benefit estimates in addition to the current retirement benefit estimates.
  • In September, SSA will begin to offer the option of applying for Social Security retirement benefits online.
  • Later this year, SSA plans to launch a Women’s Issues site to address the unique financial planning considerations women often face.

July 2000

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