Helping America Plan for Retirement
Helping America Plan for Retirement—Featuring Social Security Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.
When: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Where: The Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
What: Planning for retirement early and well is critical to ensure that one’s post-retirement years are secure and comfortable—yet few Americans do it.
A panel of retirement security experts will discuss efforts to improve retirement planning and what additional steps might make retirement planning achievable for the average for the average American.
All interested in attending this event should RSVP using the following link.
Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act – November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act started on November 1st. In 2010, just before the Affordable Care Act took effect, 49.95 million individuals had no health insurance. In fact, since the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act became law, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained coverage, but we have a long way to go to cover millions more.
Millions of Americans count on HealthCare.gov for quality and affordable health coverage. This includes numerous individuals from constituencies we serve. Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage runs from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. To start the new year with coverage, individuals must sign up by December 15, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has identified segments of the populations who remain uninsured, but are eligible to receive coverage through the marketplace. Social Security is teaming up with HHS to conduct outreach events across the country to reach these uninsured populations and educate them about Social Security benefits and how to #GetCovered through HealthCare.gov. Providing affordable health care and preventative healthcare services decreases the likelihood of long term disability and the need for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income.
If you have any upcoming events or activities that you would like for us to participate in, complete the form at www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/ask-for-a-speaker.html or contact Diandra Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Disability Forum
The Realities of Work for Individuals with Disabilities: Impact of Age, Education, and Work Experience
Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for the National Disability Forum on November 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST.
The meeting will focus on gathering input on the realities of work for individuals with severe impairments, especially for those who are older and/or have low skills or low education levels. The discussion will address how vocational factors such as age, education, and work experience affect an individual’s ability to work or adjust to other work that exists in the national economy.
Following a panel presentation, we encourage comments and discussion from all attendees.
An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is also available for comment in the Federal Register. To review and comment go to www.regulations.gov and enter SSA-2014-0081-0001 in the search box.
We encourage submission of comments through the ANPRM and by participating in the Forum.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com
2016 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Announcement
Each year, Social Security calculates the automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), if any, that our program beneficiaries will receive the following year. For years when there is a Social Security COLA, this adjustment is intended to keep inflation from eroding the purchasing power of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
The law does not provide for a Social Security COLA for 2016. The Social Security Act requires us to base this calculation on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers , known as the CPI-W. Because the CPI-W has not increased, there will be no COLA for 2016.
For important details and related information concerning this announcement, please see our press release
New Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Issue Paper and Statistical Fact Sheets
As we commemorate Labor Day, this is a perfect time to focus attention on the disability protections that workers pay for through taxes on their earnings. We are happy to announce the release of two rich online data resources for researchers, advocates, and policymakers concerning the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Our new state SSDI fact sheets and national SSDI issue paper make it easy to see exactly how this vital safety net is safeguarding workers and their families in every community across America.
About the New Online Resources
The repository of state SSDI fact sheets includes a separate fact sheet for every U.S. state, as well as for non-state Congressional districts like Washington, D.C. and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For each state or jurisdiction, they show:
- How many disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers are receiving SSDI benefits, and the relative sizes of these groups;
- The average annual SSDI benefit in relation to the poverty threshold;
- The total annual benefits for all SSDI beneficiaries; and
- A breakdown by Congressional district showing the number of disabled workers, children of insured workers, and spouses of insured workers receiving SSDI benefits; the average monthly benefit for these groups; and the total monthly benefits for the district.
The data-packed national SSDI issue paper describes five fundamental tenets that Congress used as a basis for establishing the DI program nearly 60 years ago. The authors then go on to examine whether and to what extent today’s program adheres to these core principles. I think you will find it to be an informative and thought-provoking read, as well as a valuable research tool.
Follow our new Twitter account for advocates
Social Security’s Office of External Affairs is now on Twitter! Follow @SSAOutreach to get the latest updates on our national and regional outreach efforts. We created this new Twitter account for our partners in the advocacy community and third parties who serve the public.
Follow @SSAOutreach to:
- Get the latest news on our events, policy updates, and Social Security services.
- Hear from Social Security’s Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin and our senior executives about current topics
- Get live tweets from important conferences and meetings, like our National Quarterly Advocates Conference Call coming up on June 17.
- Find out what’s new at Social Security with communities your organization serves—such as American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, immigrants, people with disabilities, homeless populations, same-sex couples, veterans, women, and young people.
- Keep up with news for appointed representatives, financial planners, health and school professionals, human resource experts, Medicare outreach organizations, representative payees, faith-based leaders, and other third parties with an interest in our programs and services.
- Retweet items of value to your network and members.
We invite you to visit @SSAOutreach and hope you can be among our first followers.
Information on replacing your Medicare Card
We are excited to introduce the expansion of online services available through the my Social Security portal at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Medicare beneficiaries can now obtain a replacement card if they have lost, damaged, or simply need to replace it online using a my Social Security account.
The Medicare card is the most important piece of identification a beneficiary needs—it's proof that they have Medicare health insurance. Medical professionals and insurance companies need this proof to provide care and accurately calculate compensation for services.
Requesting a replacement card through a my Social Security beneficiaries have a critical piece of identification available when required by medical providers as proof of Medicare coverage. Simply access your online my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.” After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail in approximately 30 days.
With a my Social Security account, our beneficiaries can also:
- Get a letter showing what benefits they receive;
- Change their address and phone number;
- Start or change direct deposit of their benefit payment; and now
- Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season
We hope that you find this information helpful, and we encourage you to share it with your members and colleagues.
Social Security Releases America's Favorite Baby Names
Social Security announced the nation’s most popular baby names for 2014. To see the top 10 baby names, visit Social Security’s website and, while you are there, we encourage you to check out the agency’s new bundle of joy, our interactive blog called Social Security Matters.
The blog encourages discussion and offers important solutions. It also is a place where the public can engage in conversations with the agency about what matters most. This is the latest in a long line of tools Social Security offers to help educate the public about their benefits and how to access agency services.
So while you are having fun reviewing the top baby names, and checking out our newborn interactive blog, take a few extra minutes to create a my Social Security account. This secure account allows you to have convenient online access to information on your record and manage your benefits once you start receiving them. You can sign up for a my Social Security account even if you are not receiving benefits.
Please share this information with your colleagues, constituents, and other interested parties.
Vision 2025 is Here
Embarking on its 80th Anniversary of being a key piece of the Nation’s fabric, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, yesterday officially released Vision 2025. The vision will serve as a “North Star” to guide Social Security and show how the agency will accomplish and deliver three key priorities: superior customer experience, exceptional employees, and an innovative organization over the next decade and beyond.
Vision 2025 reflects Social Security’s full commitment—now and in the future—to offering customers choices in how they do business with us. This commitment includes sustaining a field office structure that provides face-to-face service and is responsive to members of the public who need or prefer face-to-face service.
For more information, you can access the Social Security Vision 2025 interactive website at www.socialsecurity.gov/vision2025. While there sign up to receive automatic updates and we’ll notify you as we provide updates.We also ask that you help us, by sharing our vision for the future, among your members, associates, and colleagues. To do so we’ve provided the attached blog post from Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin, to use on your website blog, newsletters, or through your other social media channels. We invite you to also share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter the following posts, using #ssa2025.
- Social Security has launched Vision 2025! Check it out: http://go.usa.gov/3ZBCu. #ssa2025
- Did you share your ideas with @SocialSecurity for Vision 2025? Be sure to check out their vision at http://go.usa.gov/3ZBCu. #ssa2025
We look forward to working with you to help us provide the best possible service to our customers in the coming years.
Social Security Launches New Anti-Fraud Website
Recently, Social Security launched an informative new web page that highlights the agency's many efforts in fighting fraud and protecting every worker's investment in the Social Security program. The web address is www.socialsecurity.gov/antifraudfacts.
Visitors to this site will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the hard work we do every day to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in our programs. The website includes information on the tools we use to fight fraud, spotlights some of our highly successful anti-fraud efforts, and provides materials you can use to help us spread the word that Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud.
We invite you to visit the website and use the materials to help us inform the public that Social Security takes fraud seriously and is very effective in limiting the instances of fraud.
We hope you will join us in disseminating the facts about our anti-fraud efforts as we work together to prevent the use of inaccurate information about fraud to advocate cutbacks in the disability program.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments—or to discuss further ways that your organization can collaborate with Social Security to raise awareness about our efforts.
Replacement Form SSA-1099/1042S for Tax Purposes
With the new year comes tax season—something we all have to prepare for. Americans spend over 13 hours every year doing their taxes. Knowing how difficult filing taxes can be, we would like to help you keep the process as simple as possible. We are excited to offer a new online service to help people who receive Social Security benefits have the information they need to file their tax returns. If your clients receive Social Security benefits, but did not receive or misplaced their SSA-1099, they can use an online my Social Security account to get an instant replacement for tax purposes. Setting up an account is easy, secure, and convenient. They just need to go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Social Security to Expand Field Office Hours Nationwide
Social Security announced today that effective March 16, 2015, as a result of Congress’ approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs.
“This expansion of office hours reaffirms our commitment to providing the people we serve the option of top-notch, face-to-face assistance in field offices even as we work to expand online services for those who prefer that flexibility,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “The public expects and deserves world-class customer service and thanks to approved funding, I am pleased we will continue our tradition of exceptional service.”
For more information about Social Security’s decision to expand field office hours, see our press release.
Please share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.
Social Security Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements
We are pleased to announce that, beginning this month, we are resuming periodic mailings of paper Social Security Statements to workers age 25 and older. Even though most workers will receive a mailing every 5 years, we encourage everyone to create a secure my Social Security account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, which will allow them immediate access to their online Statement anytime.
The Statement is a valuable financial planning tool providing workers with important individualized information regarding their earnings, tax contributions, and estimates for future retirement, disability and survivors benefits.
Please read the full press release, including a statement by Social Security’s Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, my Social Security Account to Obtain Their Statement Online, Anytime" here.
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to keep workers informed about Social Security. Please help us encourage all workers to sign up for a my Social Security account to regularly review their earnings record and obtain estimates of future benefits for themselves and their families.