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Federal Government Social Security Administration

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If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

Government shutdown: Social Security Administration workers work day and paycheck uncertain

Contact the authorizing agency directly to find out why they sent the payment. You may be able to find the authorizing agency in the memo line of the check. View this diagram of a sample Treasury check to help you locate the authorizing agency contact information on your own check. Scroll about half way down the page to see the diagram.

If you’re unable to find which agency authorized the payment, . They can help you determine which government agency you need to contact. To find which RFC you need to call, look for its city and state at the top center of the check.

Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitmate and issued by the government.

Other Federal Statutes Affecting Ssn Confidentiality

More recent enactments by Congress have provided increased confidentiality of SSNs in public records. Any SSNs and related records that are obtained by federal or state authorized persons pursuant to federal laws enacted on or after October 1, 1990 “shall be confidential, and no authorized person shall disclose any such social security account number or related record.”56 Penalties are provided for unauthorized willful disclosures of such confidential information.57

Widespread distribution of SSNs from state driver records has been curtailed since 1994 by Congress under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.58 Since its amendment in 2000,59 certain “highly restricted information” may not be disclosed by a state department of motor vehicles without the express consent of the individual, except under limited circumstances.60 The statute provides for both criminal punishment and a private cause of action for violations of its provisions.61

Another federal statute which provides some protection from SSN disclosures is the Freedom of Information Act .62 The FOIA requires federal agencies to generally make their records available to the public, unless a specific exemption applies. “Exemption 6” allows an agency to withhold records that would disclose information of a personal nature where “disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”63

Privatizing Social Security: The Troubling Trade

Policymakers and the public show growing interest in the idea of replacing Social Security with a private system of individual retirement accounts. It is too soon to tell whether curiosity will lead to popular acceptance, but it is already plain that many Americans are thinking about private alternatives to Social Security for the first time.

Proponents of privatization see three main arguments, in addition to ideological advantages, for moving toward a private retirement system:

  • it can lift the rate of return workers obtain on their retirement contributions
  • it can boost national saving and future economic growth
  • it has practical political advantages in comparison with a Social Security rescue plan based on higher payroll taxes and a bigger accumulation of Social Security reserves.

Privatizing Social Security can boost workers rate of return by allowing retirement contributions to be invested in private assets, such as stocks, which yield a better return than the present pay-as-you-go retirement system. Returns can be boosted still further if the government borrows on a massive scale to pay for past Social Security liabilities, allowing workers to invest a larger percentage of their pay in high-yielding assets. Exactly the same rate of return can be obtained, however, if the current public system is changed to allow Social Security reserves to be invested in private assets.

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Origin Of The Ssn And Federal Government Usage

The social security number was first introduced as a device for keeping account of contributions to the Social Security program. Through the years, however, the use of this identifying number has been expanded by government entities and the private sector to keep track of many other government and private sector records. In the view of some, a person’s SSN has attained the status of a quasi-universal personal identification number.1

Federal and state agencies collect and use SSNs to verify eligibility for and administer government programs that provide benefits and services. Private sector entities routinely obtain and use SSNs for a wide variety of purposes. Today one can be required to furnish one’s SSN to obtain a driver’s license, apply for public assistance, donate blood, or take out a loan. SSNs may also be used to access insurance records, track down student loan defaulters, compile direct marketing mailing lists, or identify convicted felons on lists of potential jurors.2 There is no single federal law that comprehensively regulates SSN collection and confidentiality.3

Understanding The Social Security Administration

Social Security Administration Field Office Building ...

Social Security is a vital part of the retirement income planning strategy of many Americans, particularly as savings rates remain low . However, the breadth of services the SSA provides spans many vital areas of the U.S. social safety net. In January 2021, for example, nearly 70 million Americans, including retired workers, disabled workers, and survivors, received more than $1 trillion in Social Security benefits, according to the SSA.

The benefits are funded with payroll taxes of employers, employees, and the self-employed. The SSA administers the Social Security program, arguably one of the most successful agencies in the history of the U.S. government. The annual net cost of Social Security comes in at approximately $400 billion as of 2021, which is roughly 12.2% of all government spending, according to USASpending.gov.

Unlike the majority of U.S. federal government agencies, the SSA is not headquartered in Washington, D.C. Instead, the agency is based in the city of Woodlawn, Maryland, which is a suburb of Baltimore. In all, the Social Security Administration has 10 regional offices, six processing centers, and approximately 1,230 field offices in cities across the country. It employs over 60,000 workers and frequently ranks well in government job ratings.

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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.

Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:

  • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
  • Open a bank account in their name
  • Get medical coverage for them
  • Apply for government services for them

Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.

Strategic Goals & Objectives

Agencies establish a variety of organizational goals to drive progress toward key outcomes for the American people. Long-term strategic goals articulate clear statements of what the agency wants to achieve to advance its mission and address relevant national problems, needs, challenges and opportunities. Strategic objectives define the outcome or management impact the agency is trying to achieve, and also include the agency’s role. Each strategic objective is tracked through a suite of performance goals, indicators and other evidence..

In developing our Agency Strategic Plan, which includes our Priority Goals, we consulted with employees, stakeholders, advisory groups, and Congress. We also conducted an environmental scan to identify current and emerging trends that will directly or indirectly affect our mission, workloads, and business processes. Socioeconomic and demographic changes, along with advancements in technology, have implications for the future of our programs, workforce, and service delivery. We believe our plan provides a framework for our efforts and for thoughtful public discussion of our role and priorities.

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Final Rule Establishing Certification Program For Access To Death Master File In Effect

The National Technical Information Service established a certification program for those seeking access to the Limited Access Death Master File pursuant to Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 . Section 203 requires that NTIS charge fees sufficient to cover the costs associated with the certification program. The final rule, which supersedes and replaces the interim final rule previously in effect, was published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2016, and became effective November 28, 2016. The notice announcing the final rule may be viewed at .

The certification program established under the final rule limits access to LADMF information to those persons certified under the program. Certified persons, also called Subscribers, must have a legitimate fraud prevention interest, or have a legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty in order to be certified under the program. To access the LADMF, you must:

NTIS will provide additional information and updates on this website concerning LADMF matters.

Previous Limited Access Death Master File Announcements are available at

For all other questions regarding issues with certifying to receive the Limited Access Death Master File, please send an email to . All emails will be answered in the order received.

Social Security Administration Jobs

Social Security Administration, National Support Center, Urbana, Maryland

The Social Security Administration is headquartered in Baltimore, MD, and has regional offices all over the country. The agency is facing high numbers of retirements within the next two decades, at the same time more of the U.S. population is becoming eligible for Social Security benefits, which will create many opportunities for those interested in helping others. According to the agencys website, SSA helps 50 million people a month and is the worlds largest social insurance program.

History of the SSA

The SSA got its start as a response to the Great Depression. The country had undergone major economic changes as a result of the move from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, and the depression threw into sharp relief some of the gaps left by the transition. The Social Security Act was passed in 1935. Over time, the administration has evolved and changed many times. It was once a part of Health and Human Services, but it is now an independent agency.

Highest-need job opportunities in this administration include:

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Employees Score More Telework Days At Least For Now

In many cases, SSA employees will have access to more telework days than they did before the pandemic and before former Commissioner Andrew Saul implemented divisive cuts and cancelations to the program for portions of the agencys workforce in late 2019 and early 2020.

I was pleased to see that SSA had listened to the concerns that AFGE had raised with respect to the ability of employees, the overwhelming majority, to not just maintain productivity but also exceed prior levels of producibility while teleworking during the pandemic, Rich Couture, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 215, said in an interview.

Council 215 represents hearings and appeals employees at SSA. Couture called the planned telework changes a very positive first step, and a leap in the right direction but said he still has several questions about the agencys reentry plan that havent been answered.

Its unclear, for example, how SSA arrived at the Jan. 3 date for employees to begin returning to the office, Couture said.

We have questions as to why the work-from-home-by-quarantine policy will be eliminated when the very circumstances that led to its creation are still in existence, he said.

SSAs reentry plan describes how it will continue to coordinate safety protocols with the workforce. Mask, vaccine and cleaning procedures will remain in place, and SSA may continue to set occupancy limits in offices depending on local guidelines, according to the plan.

Ssa Eyes January Date For Reopening Offices New Employee Telework Schedules

After more than 18 months working from home, the Social Security Administration will begin reopening its offices to employees and members of the public later this year, the agency announced Friday.

The agency, once resistant to telework in the months before the pandemic, will embrace it moving forward, at least initially. SSAs new reentry plan, which it began distributing to employees and union leaders late last week, includes new telework schedules for much of the workforce.

Senior SSA leadership will begin returning to the office starting Dec. 1, the agency said. Employees will begin returning to their offices starting Jan. 3.

The agency will lift its current work from home by quarantine policy starting Jan. 2, at which point related collective bargaining agreements and pandemic policies will end as well.

Employees will have at least 30 days advanced notice before their supervisors ask them to return to the office, according to the SSA reentry plan.

SSA field offices have been mostly closed to the public, or open for dire-needs only, since March 2020. The closures have frustrated members of the public and Congress, who say those from vulnerable communities are struggling to access Social Security benefits.

Many SSA systems employees are eligible for five days of telework each week.

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Claim That It Is A Ponzi Scheme

Critics have drawn parallels between Social Security and Ponzi schemes, arguing that the sustenance of Social Security is due to continuous contributions over time. One criticism of the analogy is that while Ponzi schemes and Social Security have similar structures , they have different transparencies. In the case of a Ponzi scheme, the fact that there is no return-generating mechanism other than contributions from new entrants is obscured whereas Social Security payouts have always been openly underwritten by incoming tax revenue and the interest on the Treasury bonds held by or for the Social Security system. The sudden loss of confidence resulting in a collapse of a conventional Ponzi scheme when the scheme’s true nature is revealed is unlikely to occur in the case of the Social Security system. Private sector Ponzi schemes are also vulnerable to collapse because they cannot compel new entrants, whereas participation in the Social Security program is a condition for joining the U.S. labor force. In connection with these and other issues, Robert E. Wright calls Social Security a “quasi” pyramid scheme in his book, Fubarnomics.

The Privacy Act Of 1974

US Social Security Administration

When Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974,46 it took the first legislative step toward establishing a federal policy limiting compulsory divulgence of the SSN. In its report accompanying S. 3418, which became the Privacy Act, the Senate Committee on Government Operations stated that the extensive use of the SSN as a universal identifier was “one of the most serious manifestations of privacy concerns in the nation.”47 Citing its fear of harm to individual privacy through misuse of information systems,48 Congress intended, in the Privacy Act, to curb government use of SSNs as a personal identifier.

Section 7 of the Privacy Act provides that

It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his social security account number.

However, the effectiveness of the Privacy Act in restricting SSN use was somewhat limited by the exemptions in Section 7 of the Privacy Act:

The provisions of paragraph of this subsection shall not apply to

any disclosure which is required by Federal statute, or

the disclosure of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual.

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Are You A Veteran

In addition to direct deposit and the Direct Express options noted above, the Veterans Benefits Administration offers additional options for receiving VA benefits via direct deposit.

to learn more about Veteran banking options

With direct deposit, the U.S. Treasury sends an electronic message to your bank or credit union crediting your account with the exact amount of your benefit. The difference is, your check isn’t printed or mailed.

To talk to a live agent or if you need assistance enrolling your federal benefits, call 874-6347. For our current operating hours, click here.

Special Notice To Joint Account Holders

If your account is a joint account and receives direct deposit benefit payments, you must inform the federal agency and the financial institution of the death of the beneficiary. Payments sent by direct deposit after the date of death or ineligibility of a beneficiary must be returned to the federal agency. The federal agency will then determine if the survivor is eligible for benefits.

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How To Receive Federal Benefits

To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.

If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

  • Call the Go Direct Helpline at .

If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:

Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.

Select The Product Which Meets Your Organization’s Needs:

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Please review as well as Important Notice prior to purchasing.

NOTE: The Social Security Administration did not begin collecting information for the Death Master File until 1936. Deaths prior to 1936 will not be part of the file.

Leading government agencies, financial institutions, investigative firms, credit reporting organizations, medical researchers, and other industries use the SSA Death Master File to verify death, as well as to prevent fraud.

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