The Social Security Advisory Board, the governmental entity tasked with ensuring that the public understands the nation’s retirement and disability systems, made a rather momentous announcement earlier this week.
Specifically, the board announced on Wednesday that it was recommending that the Social Security Administration reinstate the practice of mailing annual Social Security Statements to all beneficiaries.
As you may recall, the SSA suspended the mailing of the statements back in May 2011 due to what it classified at the time as acute budgetary concerns. In its place, the agency introduced the MySSA online portal, which it touted as a cheaper and altogether more comprehensive tool for beneficiaries.
Indeed, the MySSA portal enables people to get instant access to such vital information as earnings records, and estimates of retirement, survivor, or disability benefits. It also allows users to update account information, secure copies of vital documents and manage direct deposit information.
While the board was effusive in its praise for MySSA and expressed no doubts as to its utility, it also indicated “serious concerns remain” concerning the cancellation of the paper mailings.
Specifically, the board indentified three separate concerns:
- Suspension of the paper mailings violated the federal law requiring the SSA to provide annual statements to beneficiaries.
- Beneficiaries may still be entirely unaware of the suspension of the paper mailings.
- Information on the existence of MySSA may not have been adequately distributed to the public and the SSA made no provisions to help those eligible beneficiaries without any sort of electronic access.
It should be very interesting to what transpires and if Social Security Statements return to mailboxes sooner than later.
If you would like to learn more about your rights and your options for securing SSD benefits, consider contacting an experienced and dedicated attorney who can help guide you through the complex process.
Source: Senior Journal, “Social Security advised to return to mailing paper statement by advisory board,” Tucker Sutherland, Jan. 23, 2014