Social Security Is Always Evolving

Social Security is always evolving to meet the needs of the American public. We’re optimistic about the future and the limitless possibilities for progress.

Much of the progress we’ve made together, as a nation, is through the shared responsibility of paying Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. This federal payroll tax funds Social Security — programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled, and children of deceased workers. You help us keep millions of hard-working Americans out of poverty.

Without your contribution, wounded warriors wouldn’t receive the benefits they deserve. Children who have lost parents would have no social safety net. Millions of elderly people would be destitute. In the same way that we take great pride in helping people who need it, you should take pride in making this country stronger. You can see the many ways our retirement benefits help your loved ones and neighbors at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire.

The strength of our nation relies on cooperation and the empathy to understand each other’s unique struggles. Similarly, Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.

“Compassionate allowances” offer a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the listing of impairments based on minimal objective medical information. This also lets Social Security target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly.

You can view the list of compassionate allowances at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

Our diversity is an asset that can bring us together, making us stronger as a nation. Visit www.socialSecurity.gov to empower your future, for today and tomorrow.


Q&A

Q:  I’m trying to figure out how much I need to save for my retirement. Does the government offer any help with financial education?

A:  Yes. For starters, you may want to find out what you can expect from Social Security with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission has a website that can help you with the basics of financial education: www.mymoney.gov. Finally, you’ll want to check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which offers educational information on a number of financial matters, including mortgages, credit cards, retirement, and other big decisions. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.consumerfinance.gov.

Q:  I got married and I need to change my name in Social Security’s records. What do I do?

A:  If you change your name due to marriage, or for any other reason, you’ll need to report the change and get a corrected Social Security card with your new name. You will need to fill out form SS-5. You can get a copy of this form by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc or by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You’ll also need to provide the original marriage certificate showing your new and old names. You can mail or take the documentation to your local Social Security office. In some cases, we may need other forms of documentation as well. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Q:  I’m planning to retire next year. I served in the Navy back in the 1960s and need to make sure I get credit for my military service. What do I need to do?

A:  You don’t need to do anything to apply for the special credit for your military service — it is added automatically. For service between 1957 and 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record at the time you apply for Social Security benefits. For service between 1968 and 2001, those extra military service credits have already been added to your record. So you can rest assured that we have you covered.

Q:  How do I report a change of address if I’m getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

A:  A person receiving SSI must report any change of address by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or by visiting a local office within 10 days after the month the change occurs. You cannot complete a change of address online. You should report your new address to Social Security so you can continue to get mail from Social Security when necessary, even if you get your benefits electronically by direct deposit or direct express. Learn more about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

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