Your Financial Future:
Social Security is an important benefit, especially for women. It is never too early to start understanding Social Security benefits for both you and your loved ones. The more you learn now, the better prepared you will be in the future. Use these helpful resources to find out more about how Social Security benefits work and what you need to know to best utilize them.
News in Social Security:
IMPORTANT! Changes to Social Security Claiming Strategies
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 signed into law in November 2015 includes the elimination of two Social Security benefit claiming strategies commonly known as "File and Suspend" and "Filing a Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits." The legislation also eliminates the option of a "lump sum" payout option of suspended benefits. The Social Security Administration recently clarified details about how it will implement the rule.
PLEASE NOTE: WISER is in the process of updating the Social Security Fact Sheets on our website to reflect these changes, as well as developing a fact sheet that describes these changes in detail. Some of our materials, however, do not include this new information yet.
To learn more about these changes from Social Security, click here.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)- 2016
Each year, the Social Security benefits are adjusted to fit the cost of living increase measured by the Consumer Price Index. Due to inflation, the Social Security Administration may increase benefits to help elders with the resulting cost of living. Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will not automatically increase in 2016, however, as there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015.
Compassionate Allowances help provide benefits quickly to applicants with serious medical conditions that meet disability standards. For more information, please click here.
Resources on Social Security and Social Security Reform:
Social Security Administration - The SSA has a wealth of information about your benefits and how to apply, and you can also find information about the program itself, including history, data, and policy analysis. Call: 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration web site: www.ssa.gov
Sign up for an online account with the Social Security Administration. You can access your Social Security statement and learn more about your benefits. Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Social Security Administration booklet, What Every Woman Should Know:
The Social Security Administration launched a web page highlighting its efforts to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in its programs. You can also find materials to help spread the word and even report fraud.
Institute for Women's Policy Research conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialog, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. Included in this research is Social Security and the impact of reform on women. Visit www.iwpr.org. For their Retirement and Social Security Initiative: www.iwpr.org/initiatives/retirement-social-security
AARP has a variety of publications for women on Social Security, reform proposals, privatization, and impact on women. See www.aarp.org/money/social_security/
National Academy of Social Insurance has a comprehensive list of policy and academic publications on Social Security financing, reforms and administration. Visit http://www.nasi.org/
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has a useful questions and answers feature on their website, as well as policy analysis and other information about proposals to change Social Security and Medicare. Visit www.ncpssm.org.
- Social Security: What Every Woman Needs to Know
- Social Security Checklist
- Social Security and Divorce: What You Need to Know
- Government Pension Offset & Windfall Elimination Provision
- The Case of the Growing Social Security Retirement Benefit (Feature Article)
- Making the Most of Social Security Benefits if You're Divorced
- Your Social Security Statement: What It Means and Why It's Important
- Your Guide to Understanding Social Security Spousal Benefits