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Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI

We created Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to inform beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries, advocates and other interested agencies and organizations about SSI eligibility requirements and processes.  We hope this knowledge will help people:apply for; establish eligibility for; and continue to receive SSI benefits for as long as they remain eligible.Understanding SSI is a training manual and reference tool. It is not necessary for you to know everything in Understanding SSI. You may simply use and refer to those sections that are most useful to you.You should refer any potentially eligible individuals to us to apply for SSI benefits or to get an answer to any question you may have. If you have any doubts about a person’s eligibility, always refer him or her to us immediately to avoid a possible loss in benefits.Understanding SSI is not a complete review of all SSI related rules and policies. It provides general information and does not replace the experts at Social Security. You must contact us for individual case information. You may also access this information in Spanish, “Comprendiendo Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario,” at:

Please click on the attached file for the actual Understanding SSI Guide :USSI Click Here

Banking on Opportunity

The Department of the Treasury released Banking on Opportunity:  A Scan of the Evolving Field of Bank On Initiatives. This report provides background on the “Bank On” model, a recent approach to expand access to safe, affordable financial services and related financial education for unbanked households, through collaborations of financial institutions, financial educators, trusted community organizations, local and state government leaders, and others.  The report provides an overview of the history of Bank On programs, and summary information about program structures, partnerships, funding, successes and challenges, special considerations and gaps in the field.  The report also includes case studies from two established initiatives, in Savannah, Georgia, and Seattle-King County, Washington.

For more information, click here.

Ken McDonnell

Employee Benefit Research Institute

Director, American Savings Education Council (ASEC)

1100 13th Street NW, Suite 878

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 775-6367 — direct dial

(202) 775-6312 — fax

Every day is an opportunity to   Visit to learn how you can take informed action. Start Small, Think Big!

Upcoming ASEC Meeting Dates:

Partners Meetings:

October 19, 2011

April 11, 2012

Government Interagency Group Meetings:

February 9, 2012

June 14, 2012

September 13, 2012

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By: Everett M. Lo
Social Security Administration’s Regional Public Affairs Office in the New York Region

When you go on a road trip, you need to follow the signs to arrive at the right place. Going online can be very much the same. Look for the “.gov” at the end of the web address — if it isn’t .gov, it isn’t the real Social Security website —

Countless consumers nationwide are victimized each year by misleading advertisers who use “Social Security” or “Medicare” to entice the public to use their services. In many cases, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security, free of charge. These services include:

updating a Social Security card to show a bride’s married name;
replacing a Social Security card; and
getting a Social Security number for a child.

These for-profit businesses may cleverly design their websites, so when people use Internet search engines, their advertisement pops up. They may even make their advertisement look similar to the real Social Security website. And some of these sites, at first glance, appear to be affiliated with Social Security. But upon closer examination, these are for-profit companies charging individuals for a service that is provided free by Social Security.

For instance, a quick Google search on “replacing a Social Security card” brings up paid advertisements for websites that charge a fee just to get an application for a new card. That service is absolutely free from Social Security.

The law that deals specifically with misleading Social Security and Medicare advertising prohibits people or non-government organizations, like for-profit businesses, from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising cannot lead people to believe that they represent or are somehow affiliated with or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare). But that doesn’t stop advertisers from trying.

For more information, you can read our publication What You Need to Know about Misleading Advertising at

When you go to, make sure you look for the “.gov” sign along the way. Don’t be tricked into paying a fee for a service that’s free. And remember: if it isn’t .gov, it isn’t Social Security.


By:      Everett M. Lo
Social Security Administration’s Regional Public Affairs Office in the New York Region

Plan to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits in January of 2012?

We recommend you apply this October if you’d like your benefits to begin in January.   If the prospect of traveling to an office does not appeal to you, then save yourself a trip and consider the advantages of applying online for Social Security retirement benefits.

The Social Security website at makes the process easy and convenient.   In most cases, once you submit your online application electronically, that’s it. There are no additional forms to sign or paperwork to complete. In rare cases where we need additional information, a representative will contact you.

You can complete your application for retirement benefits from the comfort of your home or office in as little as 15 minutes.  Then you can celebrate 2012 by receiving your first Social Security payment on time.   If you are not quite ready to retire but are thinking about doing so in the near future, you may want to visit Social Security’s website to use our convenient and informative retirement planner at

Here you can find out just how close you are to meeting your financial goals and then “bookmark” the website to file for retirement benefits whenever you are ready.

We encourage people at any stage in their working career to use the Retirement Estimator for a instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. Find it at

Remember that you’re always first in line when you go online, to


By:      Everett M. Lo
Social Security Administration’s Regional Public Affairs Office in the New York Region

Would you like to stay informed when there are changes to the Social Security website?  More than one million people currently receive updates when we make changes to the pages they’re most interested in. Now you can too.

You can subscribe to receive free email updates with the click of a button.
Just visit, or look for the red envelope icon on your favorite Social Security web pages.   A number of Social Security’s more popular pages include an icon of a red envelope followed by a link that says “Get email updates.” Clicking on that link will allow you to subscribe to updates for that particular page. If you click on the link, you’ll get a list of the available subscription pages.

You may select how often you wish to be notified of changes (immediately, daily, weekly, or monthly).    We have more than 25 topic pages you can subscribe to, including such hot topics as congressional testimony and speeches, disability research, popular baby names, and press releases at

Get a complete, linkable list of the pages you can subscribe to at

When it comes to news and information updates from Social Security’s website, we deliver.