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Social Security changes its mind

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Friday, July 18, 2014
Posted: 11 am ET

Social Security is backpedaling on its decision to require most people to download their own Social Security verification letters, required for things like mortgage approvals and applications for government assistance.

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© FRED PROUSER/Reuters/Corbis

The agency had announced that beginning Aug. 1, those in need of these letters would have to sign up for a personal My Social Security account and have access to a computer and a printer, things that many people living in retirement don't have.

A recent report by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, critical of Social Security's decisions to close 64 field offices and 533 mobile offices, points out that in 2013, 5 million people visited Social Security offices to get verification letters to corroborate such things as their income or retirement status. While public access to computers is available in many community libraries, some libraries and Microsoft itself warn against entering sensitive information into a publicly available computer.

In reversing the decision to stop sending verification letters by postal mail, Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in a statement: "We appreciate the feedback from members of Congress, our community stakeholders and agency partners. We want to ensure that we meet the needs of our customers in a way that is convenient for them and also cost-effective and secure for all."

Response from those most concerned about the issue was positive. "I'm glad the Social Security Administration has listened to our seniors' concerns," Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate aging committee, told the Associated Press. "As the agency pushes more people online to conduct their business, we need to make sure our most vulnerable citizens are not being left high and dry."

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October 22, 2014 at 11:57 pm

incredible. first, no one, illegal or otherwise, collects S.S. without first earning the required points. second, the closing of SS offices shifts expenses from structures & salaries to keeping money for payments. ignorant fear mongering.

October 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Thank you Sen. Nelson(D)...again for protecting we older citizens against brain less attempts like this concerning forms! Someone should be held accountable for trying to make stupid, bad ideas from happening and harming seniors!

October 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

The porous borders are the result of American big businesses! Their lobbyist made sure their impact on mainly republican members of both houses in DC, nutured the lack of border sealing, and responded to monies from these lobbyist! Lobbyists are protected by free speech guarantees, as imbeded in the Constitution. They have distorted this protection to serve only the wealthy and big business! It is the fault of all American voters that blindly elect, and reelect, these self serving politicians! Instead of taking a few minutes to do available research, and thinking about what the research results tell the voter; after obtaining view points from as many sources that are usually available, and weighing the obtained facts, as to their opinions as applied to the over all benefits to this country as a whole entity, until this process is observed, and curbing the hughley unbeneficial lobbyist (all of them); we will eventually self implode! Going into battle for folks who preach hatred only to fight a war that is very profitable for them hastens, and exaserbates, this implosion! We are a Nation of ignorant voters, by and large!

M. R.
October 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Social Democrats seem to be giving away the farm to illegal aliens while hampering the right of citizens to receive services they have paid for/into for decades. Obviously, Social Democrats such as Hussein feel that the illegal are more deserving and in keeping with his wealth (other than his own personal wealth) distribution plan, the hard working American citizens should fork over their earned services for those who violated the law of the land in just getting here, and continue to violate the law by failing to show for hearings and trials. I can imagine the records for all these potential illegal Social Democratic voters will somehow "disappear" like the IRS records of emails did.

m. schreck
September 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I agree with everyone who is against illegals receiving ss benefits. I also agree that immigrants who have been here for many years from other countries and still are not legal should not receive benefits from these funds. We are tired of the government taking money from those funds and using for other purposes except for what it really should be used for. All the fear mongering about social security hides a lot of truth about what politicians are up to in Washington. What were they thinking to even suggest that seniors put out sensitive info on a computer instead of being more efficient so they won't have to close physical offices? Duh!

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