An average monthly check from the Social Security Administration is $1,413.  This represents 90% of monthly income for one in three older people.  For two thirds of individuals, Social Security checks represent at least 50% of their income.

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A Questionable Milestone

October 24, 2018

Social Security benefit payments are supposed to exceed $1 trillionfor the first time next year. By way of comparison, the Trump tax cut is about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

 

Fraud Alert!

October 17, 2018

The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about an ongoing Office of the Inspector General (OIG) impersonation scheme.  The OIG has recently received reports from citizens about suspicious phone calls claiming to be from the Acting Inspector General.

The reports indicate the caller identifies as “Gale Stone” and states the person’s Social Security number (SSN) is at risk of being deactivated or deleted.  The caller then asks the person to call a provided phone number to resolve the issue.  Citizens should be aware that the scheme’s details may vary; however, citizens should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided, as the caller might attempt to acquire personal information.

The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be the Acting Inspector General or from the OIG, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

From the Social Security blogspot:
According to a study by Social Security’s Office of Chief Actuary, the chances of living to full retirement age without becoming disabled is 64% for males and 70% for females born in 1998. It is the same for females born in 1966 but only 58% for males born in 1966. Despite the improvement, that’s still a lot of death and disability before full retirement age. People dramatically undervalue the importance of Social Security disability and survivor benefits. Yes, it can happen to you.

Senator Sanders lays out a plan to bolster the services Social Security provides

But Social Security’s woes are about more than money. There are procedural issues, too, that can make getting benefits a chore for certain folks, such as the disabled. This is what prompted former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to introduce the Social Security Administration Fairness Act on June 27, 2018.

The Social Security Administration Fairness Act aims to make three substantive changes to the existing law.

To begin with, it would set the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) funding at 1.5% of overall benefit payments. Last year, despite $952.5 billion in expenditures, the SSA received just $6.5 billion in funding to run offices and pay employees. Though this was an improvement from the $6.2 billion in funding apportioned for 2016, the fact remains that the program’s funding has declined 9% since 2010 as its beneficiary count has grown by 15%. More than doubling the SSA’s funding should help it work through an exceptionally long disability request backlog, as well as meet the expectations of beneficiaries who have questions or concerns.

Secondly, Sanders’ bill would address the exceptionally long wait times those applying for disability contend with in regard to disability insurance payments and Medicare. This bill would eliminate the five-month waiting period to receive benefits for approved Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) recipients, as well as eliminate the two-year waiting period of SSDI beneficiaries to qualify for Medicare.

Third and finally, it would place a moratorium on the closure of Social Security field offices and contact stations that are on the front lines of providing services to the American public.

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