Social Security News

Social Security Pushes My Social Security in Honor of Turning 79

This account is a tool people can used to keep up with their Social Security benefits, and more

Aug. 18, 2014 In honor of the 79th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, Social Security is urging Americans to establish a my Social Security account, a personalized online account, promoted as a helpful retirement planning tool.

Through August 23, Social Security will host numerous events to highlight the benefits of a my Social Security account, which people can establish in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits.

History of Social Security

The Social Security Administration (SSA) began life as the Social Security Board (SSB). The SSB was created at the moment President Franklin D. Roosevelt inked his signature on the Social Security Act (August 14, 1935 at 3:30 p.m.).

The SSB was an entirely new entity, with no staff, no facilities and no budget. The initial personnel were donated from existing agencies, and a temporary budget was obtained from Harry Hopkins and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Frances Perkins , Secretary of Labor, offered one of her Assistant Secretaries, Arthur Altmeyer, to be an initial Board member, and she even gave her high-backed red-leather executive chair to Altmeyer since the SSB had no furniture. The Board itself consisted of three presidentially appointed executives and such staff as they needed to hire.

On 7/1/39 the Social Security Board lost its independent agency status when the new sub-cabinet level Federal Security Agency was created. The FSA encompassed the SSB, the Public Health Service, the Office of Education, the Civilian Conservation Corp., and the U.S. Employment Service.

On 7/16/46 the SSB was renamed the Social Security Administration under the President's Reorganization Plan of 1946. Arthur Altmeyer, who had been chairman of the Board of the SSB, became SSA's first Commissioner.

On 4/11/53 President Eisenhower abolished the FSA and created a new Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). SSA was made part of this new cabinet agency.

HEW was replaced by the Department of Health & Human Services on 5/4/80. SSA was a major part of HHS until legislation signed by President Clinton on 8/15/94 returned SSA to it original status as an independent agency - effective 3/31/95.

"I am excited about the first National my Social Security Week. A my Social Security account is a convenient, cost-effective and secure way for the public to do business with us from the comfort of their home, office or library," said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

With a my Social Security account, people can take control of their future by accessing their online Social Security Statement, which is a great financial planning tool that provides workers age 18 and over their complete earnings history and estimates for future retirement, disability and survivors benefits.

The Statement allows workers to verify the accuracy of their earnings each year. This is important since earnings are the basis for determining future retirement benefits.  Individuals who currently receive benefits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get an instant benefit verification letter, change their address and phone number, and start or change direct deposit of their benefit payment.

To date, over 13 million people have established an account.  


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Events during my Social Security week include a Twitter chat on "my Social Security and Planning for Your Financial Future;" my Social Security sign-up events nationwide at local churches, libraries, federal government agencies, large employers, youth centers/organizations, senior centers, and colleges and universities; social media outreach including a Thunderclap campaign, and a National radio media tour.

"I am proud Social Security continues to provide world-class customer service that meets the changing needs of the public," Colvin said.

"For those who aren't comfortable with the Internet and prefer to conduct business with us by telephone or face-to-face, we remain committed to maintaining a network of local offices to provide our services."

For more information, please go to


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