Social Security Evolves To Serve You

Social Security Evolves To Serve You

Photo of Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

Courtesy: Social Security Administration

Social Security is at the forefront of adapting and meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers. Technology plays an important role in helping us provide the world-class customer service America expects and deserves. And we’re changing to keep current with new laws and judicial rulings, as well.

One way in which we’ve evolved is by developing the my Social Security account. Once you enroll for a free account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, Social Security can help you estimate your future retirement or disability benefits, or manage them if you are already receiving benefits. You can do all of this easily and securely from the comfort of your home or office.

Social Security listens to your needs as we improve the technologies that enhance the customer experience. We continue to look for new services to add to my Social Security to make it an even more powerful resource for you and your family.

Another way we’re evolving is by adapting to legal and social changes. In 1935, when Social Security was created, the definition of “family” was different from what it is today. On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states. As a result, more same-sex couples will be recognized as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, payments.

Not only have we adapted to provide benefits for same-sex spouses — transgender people can now change the gender marker on their Social Security records based on identity, with no requirement for reassignment surgery.

Our mission at Social Security is to deliver services that meet the changing needs of the public. We will continue to reach our goals and help you achieve yours by keeping the public informed of their benefit estimates with my Social Security and by adapting to our changing society. No matter who you are, you deserve the benefits of Social Security. Find out more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

GENERAL

Question:  What is a Social Security Statement, and how can I get a copy?

Answer:  Your online Social Security Statement gives you secure and convenient access to your earnings records. It also shows estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits for which you and your family may be eligible. You can get your personal Statement online by using your own my Social Security account. If you don’t yet have an account, you can easily create one.
To set up or use your account to get your online Statement, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

We also mail Statements to workers attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and older, three months prior to their birthday, if they don’t receive Social Security benefits and don’t have a my Social Security account. If you don’t want to wait for your Statement, you can access it online at any time during the year.

RETIREMENT

Question:  My neighbor, who is retired, told me that the income he receives from his part-time job at the local nursery gives him an increase in his Social Security benefits. Is that right?

Answer:  Retirees who return to work after they start receiving benefits may be able to receive a higher benefit based on those earnings. This is because Social Security automatically recomputes the retirement benefit after crediting the additional earnings to the individual’s earnings record. Learn more by reading the publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

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