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Social Security Online
Social Security Update
February 2010
In This Issue:

We Welcome Your Ideas

Compassionate Allowances Vastly Expanded

Donít Forget to Report Last Yearís Extra Payment

Encourage Americans to Save

 

We Welcome Your Ideas

President ObamaIn support of President Obama's Transparency and Open Government initiative, Social Security has launched a new Open Government webpage at www.socialsecurity.gov/open.

“Our new Open Government webpage gives Americans an opportunity to give us their ideas on how we can become a more open and transparent agency,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.  Anyone is welcome to submit ideas.  To send us yours, click on the link at the top right of the webpage that says, “Share your ideas on our open government plan.” 

Learn more about our Open Government website by reading our recent press release on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/opengov-pr.html.

You can visit the new page at www.socialsecurity.gov/open.

Compassionate Allowances Vastly Expanded

Compassionate Allowances Vastly Expanded Commissioner Astrue has announced the addition of 38 more conditions to the Compassionate Allowances list.  The new conditions range from adult brain disorders to rare diseases that primarily affect children. 

Compassionate Allowances quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that clearly qualify for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits — allowing for faster decisions in the most obvious cases. 

“We will continue to hold hearings and look for other diseases and conditions that can be added to our list of Compassionate Allowances," said Commissioner Astrue.  “There can be no higher priority than getting disability benefits quickly to those Americans with these severe and life-threatening conditions.”

To learn more, and to see a complete list of the 38 new conditions, read the press release at www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/cal021110-pr.html.

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Donít Forget to Report Last Yearís Extra Payment

IRS LogoBeneficiaries who received the $250 one-time Economic Recovery Payment in 2009, and who also worked during the year, need to make sure they properly report the income on their tax returns.  It may affect the tax return of people who claim the Making Work Pay tax credit.

The Making Work Pay tax credit is a new credit established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and it’s worth up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples. Millions of hardworking Americans have received the benefit of this credit every pay period through reduced tax withholding.

Anyone who claims the tax credit must reduce the claim by the amount of the $250 one-time payment.  If he or she doesn’t report it on the federal return, it will slow the tax refund.  For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/payment/irs.htm.

Encourage Americans to Save

americasavesweek.orgIn this challenging economy, it may be difficult to encourage people to save for their retirement and their future goals. Despite the challenges, studies have shown that for most people saving is still possible.  With that in mind, we’d like to encourage you to join us in the America Saves campaign by participating in America Saves Week, which runs February 21 to 28.

The goal of America Saves Week is simple:  to encourage people to take financial action through saving, debt reduction, and wealth building.

Now is a critical time for all Americans to reduce consumer debt and save money. With families across the country struggling to cope with high unemployment, tighter credit and strained budgets, financial security is more important than ever. It doesn’t have to stop with America Saves Week; encouraging people to save should be a year-round goal.

Learn more at www.americasavesweek.org

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