President Barack Obama announced last Friday his intent to nominate Carolyn Watts Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security.

President Obama said, “I am grateful for Carolyn’s past service in various roles at the Social Security Administration, and I am confident that she will serve the American people well in her new role. I look forward to working with her in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Carolyn Watts Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security:

Carolyn Watts Colvin, Nominee for Commissioner of Social Security, Social Security Administration

Carolyn Watts Colvin is currently Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for the Social Security Administration (SSA), a position she has held since January 2011. She has also served as Acting Commissioner of Social Security since February 2013.

Last week, I posed Part 1 of the Disability Quiz from the Social Security Website.  Part 2 is below.  I got 4/4 correct again, but I’m going to give you a hint on these.  They are basically a form of marketing–SSA is telling you with each question how awesome the program is, how cheap it is to administer and how much it does for Americans by keeping them out of poverty.  With that in mind, I think you can get four out of four correct as well.


5. For every dollar paid in Social Security taxes, how much does the agency spend to administer the program (cost of running the agency)?

A. 20 cents
B. 10 cents
C. 1 cent
6. A yearly income of $11,490 or less puts you in the poverty category according to U.S. guidelines. What is the average yearly amount of Social Security disability benefits for an individual?

A. $10,752
B. $13,752
C. $17,752
7. In 2012, how much money did our aggressive program to prevent disability fraud save the Social Security Administration?

A. $3 million
B. $340 million
C. $34 million
8. Only 31 percent of people have private sector long-term disability insurance. What percent of workers does Social Security Disability Insurance cover?

A. 30%
B. 50%
C. 90%



5.  C

6.  B

7.  B

8.  D

From the Social Security Website. A fun quiz, because when you are spending years waiting for a disability hearing, it’s nice to have something to do.

How many of these do you know?  I’m happy to announce I got all four right.


1. Your chances of being struck by lightning in the United States in any one year are one in 775,000. What are the chances of a 20-year-old becoming disabled before reaching retirement age?

A. 1 in 40,000
B. 1 in 400
C. 1 in 4,000
D. 1 in 4


2. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, a person’s disability must be expected to last:

A. 6 months
B. At least 12 months or to result in death
C. 3 years

3. Which statement describes the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program?

A. Workers earn SSDI coverage by paying taxes
B. SSDI is the largest disability insurance program in the United States
C. SSDI provides cash benefits to disabled workers
D. SSDI provides cash benefits to the dependents of disabled workers
E. All of the above

4. Under the Social Security Compassionate Allowances program, we pay expedited benefits to severely disabled individuals. How many conditions are on the list?

A. 25
B. 50
C. 100
D. 225



1.  D

2. B

3. E

4. D


Check back next week for Part 2.


First Coast News reported the following story last week about a young man with a heart condition in desperate need of surgery to save his life:

Mark Horton has in so many words been given a death sentence; he looks healthy but he is not. Horton,29, is battling a rare heart condition he’s had since he seventeen and it is getting worse and requires valve replacement surgery soon.

“The doctor that diagnosed me he literally told me there’s usually only two ways we find what you have that’s accident or autopsy,”said Horton.

“I said within three to six months if I do not get this surgery can I die?” said Horton,” he said yes I can.”

His cardiologist has found a surgeon who is willing and ready to perform the surgery but there’s the issue of who is going to pay for it, Horton has no insurance.

“I don’t have the money,” he said,” not even close.”

Horton said three years ago he applied for Social Security Disability benefits and was denied twice. He said he’s now asking for a hearing to plead his case.

“I just want my fair day, I just want to be able to prove my case,” said Horton,”, I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m not asking for someone to send me a check or something.”

Barbara Horton ,his mother, said it has been stressful.

“If he can get on disability he can get medicaid and get the funds together,” she said.

Horton said a lot of prayers have kept them focused. Horton said they were told it may take as much as 18 months before they get a hearing date.

“As a parent reading this and knowing that there’s a strong possibility that if he had a hearing he could have this fixed,” she said,” is what makes it stressful.

The family believes that the surgery will cost about $100-thousand but they’re not asking anyone to send them money.

“I would love to be able to come up with $100,000 cash in hand and say could you help us now,” she said.

They say what they want is a hearing to prove his disability and not a hearing date 18 months from now.

“You hear all the time I don’t want to die because I haven’t lived,” he said,” I haven’t really lived.”

The Social Security disability programs are now a big part of the Federal Budget. Only individuals who can prove their disability and meet the medical criteria can get help.

We provided the Horton’s concerns to the Social Security Administration office in Atlanta, which covers the southeast. Privacy laws prevent them from discussing the specifics of a case, but they plan to address Horton’s concerns.

“We will contact Mr. Horton and provide assistance,” said Patti Patterson.


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