Office for the Aging


Social Security: Economic Security and Economic Engine

On March 1, 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will begin its paperless benefits program, a move intended to save millions of dollars a year, and getting benefits to those who receive them more convenient for all.

The U.S. Treasury will stop mailing paper checks to Social Security beneficiaries on that date. All federal benefit recipients will then receive their payments by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or, benefits will loaded onto a direct debit card.

As Congress considers future debates about Social Security and its structure, it is a great time to confront one of the most common myths about Social Security: insolvency.

"Without question, Social Security is not only essential to the lives of older New Yorkers in terms of their economic security, the benefits to New York's economy cannot be ignored," said New York State Office for the Aging's Acting Director Greg Olsen. "What many people don't realize is just how strong Social Security really is. It is far more stable than many media reports suggest."

According to NASI, the National Association of Social Insurance, Social Security is 100% solvent until 2033. In fact, in 2011, Social Security's revenue plus interest income created a surplus in excess of $69 billion. Reserves are projected to grow to $3.2 trillion by the end of 2020. Then, if Congress takes no action in the meantime, reserves would start being drawn down to pay benefits.

In New York State, Social Security income accounts for $47 billion annually, according to statistics provided by the SSA.. Much of this figure is distributed to New York's aging population 65 years of age and older. Naturally, misunderstandings can develop when discussing them becomes a politically driven conversation.

To find out about the SSA's move to electronic benefit payments, and how you can sign up, visit the SSA website(External Link) or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Did You Know?
The SSA has announced the agency is expanding the services available with a My Social Security account, a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits. More than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record instantly using their online account. Social Security beneficiaries also can change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.

People age 18 and older can sign up for an account. (External Link)