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Honoring our shared history is one way we can remember that we believe in freedom and democracy for all.

Social Security Tips & Info

Multi-generational family standing happily outside

Social Security Celebrates Black History Month

(February, 2018)

In February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with Abraham Lincoln's and Frederick Douglass's birthdays. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over 90 years.

Honoring our shared history is one way we can remember that we believe in freedom and democracy for all. Another shared belief is that we all deserve a comfortable retirement, free of economic hardship.

Social Security has the tools to help you plan for your retirement and to apply for benefits online. We also pay disability benefits to individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from working for more than 12 months or that result in death. If the disabled individual has dependent family members, they may also be eligible to receive payments.

We pay disability through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program, for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to be eligible, and the Supplemental Security Income program, which pays benefits based on financial need.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivor’s benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.

You can learn more about retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits. Social Security is with you throughout life's journey, helping secure today and tomorrow for you and your family. Visit us today at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/africanamericans.


Maria Ortega

Maria Ortega is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. Her weekly column on all things Social Security appears in the Sunday Edition of the Sun-Sentinel. She conducts speaking engagements about Social Security programs and is always available to address issues that may affect the public. She coordinates exhibits, fairs, conventions and seminars and serves as an Agency contact with news media, community organizations and advocacy groups.

Maria has agreed to let us reprint her articles here for your convenience.

Thank you Maria!


Social Security Tips & Info