Social Security eNews Published on May 1, 2001 Issue 16 You're one of more than 150,000 subscribers but

that's just the tip of the iceberg. E-mail this to a friend Social Security eNews See the html here Welcome to eNews! There's a lot going on at Social Security, so we have an issue that's packed full of news you can use. Whether you're looking for some extra cash, want to file for benefits, or you've been wanting to hear from former President Nixon, we've got it covered. If it has to do with Social Security, you'll hear it here first. But as one of our 150,000 subscribers, you already know that! Take a look at the hot news in this issue. You'll be glad you did. A quick * * * * * * * glance at this month's eNews: CELEBRATING OLDER AMERICANS DON'T CALL US, WE'LL PAY YOU SPOUSES CAN APPLY ONLINE SOCIAL SECURITY HELPS PUBLIC FIND NIXON TAPES PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MEET THE CHALLENGE WE'RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD ENS MORE TIME ONLINE CELEBRATING OLDER AMERICANS May is Older Americans Month, so this issue of eNews is dedicated to the elders of our communities! Social Security joins the Administration on Aging and organizations nationwide in celebrating the contributions of older Americans to society. Speaking of contributions, did you know that because of their contributions to Social Security, we pay retirement benefits to more than 31 million older Americans? More than nine in 10 Americans 65 or older get payments from us. Less than 10 percent of American seniors live in poverty; without Social Security, 50 percent would be in poverty! As you can see, Social Security is as important to older Americans as they are to us! For more on Older Americans Month, visit our website! DON'T CALL US, WE'LL PAY YOU If you get Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then you know that there is a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) every year. The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 1999, the Bureau of Labor Statistics made an error in calculating the CPI; what this means to you is that the 2000 COLA increase should have been 2.5 percent instead of the 2.4 percent that you got. Don't worry-the fix is in the works. More than 45 million Social Security and six million SSI beneficiaries will receive an automatic back-pay sometime in July, and a letter explaining the payment. So don't call us-we'll pay you. But don't go on a spending spree just yet-for most people, the payment will be between $12 and $19.

SPOUSES CAN APPLY ONLINE Now, Internet users can file for spouse's benefits online! Since November, customers have been able to apply for their own retirement benefits via the Internet. We've expanded the online application to let people apply for retirement on their spouse's record, too! More than 600 applications for spouse's benefits have already been completed over the Internet. As more and more people discover the convenience of cyberspace, we expect these numbers to grow. If you're ready to retire, do it now! SOCIAL SECURITY HELPS PUBLIC FIND NIXON TAPES Here's exciting news for history buffs or anyone interested in the Nixon White House tapes-and a helpful tool to boot! The Nixon tapes are now available to the public, and we can help you find the ones you're interested in. Social Security has published National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) Finding Aids to this unique collection of American history. In the future, look for Social Security-related audio excerpts from the tapes. Or go to Social Security's History Page now and use the NARA Finding Aids to locate the tapes that interest you. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MEET THE CHALLENGE Dana Simpkins, like many eNews readers, enjoys spending time in front of the computer. As an e-mail specialist for the Gap, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, that's his job. But Dana has met a challenge that many don't have to tackle. Due to spinal muscular atrophy, he uses a wheelchair. There was a time when he didn't know the joy of job satisfaction. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helped make ends meet, but he wanted to work. "My PASS (Plan for Achieving Self Support) was what allowed me to work," Dana remembers. The PASS let him keep his SSI while he went to work. He used his SSI to meet his basic needs, and his wages were saved in a special PASS account to help meet his goal of getting a van modified for wheelchair transportation. Now, with his modified van, Dana no longer needs the help of SSI. "My advice to those who are considering work is to simply go for it. Don't be afraid to try and fail. The feeling I got cashing that first paycheck was sweeter having overcome greater challenges than most." WE'RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD ENS Would you or your organization like to help beneficiaries with disabilities? Social Security will contract with organizations interested in becoming Employment Networks (ENs). ENs will provide vocational rehabilitation services, employment services and other support services to beneficiaries with disabilities who receive "tickets" from Social Security. The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program is being phased in nationally over a three-year period, starting in 13 states. To learn how you or your organization can get involved, or for a list of the 13 states, visit Social Security's Work Site. MORE TIME ONLINE Now you have more time than ever to do business with us over the Internet! Hours of operation for Social Security's online services have been extended: 6 a.m. to

1 a.m. on workdays (Monday through Friday), 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Just another way that doing business online is more convenient than visiting or calling your local office-whether you want to file for retirement benefits, request a benefit verification letter or Medicare replacement card, order a Social Security Statement, or get directions to your local office. Of course, some of our services are available around the clock. For a complete list of our online services, let us take you right to the source! To view prior issues in .html If you found this newsletter helpful, please forward this issue of e-news to two or three of your friends. Thanks! This is a post-only newsletter. Please do not reply to this message. If you need to contact Social Security go to If you received this newsletter from a friend, you may also subscribe. Each month you will receive a free newsletter packed with important news from Social Security. You can also sign up for timely updates on disability, retirement, survivors, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, laws and regulations, press office news releases, wage reporting, and data studies and research. Subscribe now! If you are already subscribed you may modify your subscription by visiting You may unsubscribe at any time by sending an email to In the body of the message enter the following: SIGNOFF SSA_ENEWS