2009-04-24 / Columnists

Social Security And You

Social Security's Online Services Best In Government
Commentary By James Glasser, Manager, Far Rockaway Social Security Office

James Glasser James Glasser It's always nice to be considered the best in the business — and even better when the judges are members of the public we serve.

Social Security is proud that the American public has put our online services at the top of the list once again, after giving the Social Security Adminitration the same honor last year and the year before that one.

In the most recent survey of e-Government services by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a national organization that tgracks such things, Social Security's online services earned the highest overall score of 79 percent satisfaction. (The average score for the Federal government was 75.)

In particular, our Retirement Estimator scored 89, the top score in the federal government. The Retirement Estimator provides immediate retirement benefit estimates based on your own earnings record to help you plan for your retirement.

The online Retirement Estimator is a convenient financial planning tool, since it eliminates the need to manually key in years of earnings information.

The estimator also will let you create "what if" scenarios. For example, if you change your "stop work" dates or expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement options.

Check it out at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

Also earning high marks from the public were our online Retirement Application and Medicare Extra Help Application, with each scoring 87.

In a separate survey, Nextgov, a website devoted to technology and the federal government, listed www.socialsecurity.gov as one of the top five federal websites in its review of best online practices.

It is important to note that the usefulness of our website is enhanced because much of the online information is available in Spanish, as well as 14 other languages. Many documents are also accessible to people who use screen readers, screen magnifiers and voice recognition software.

To learn more, these winning programs, see the recent press release about Social Security and the American Customer Satisfaction Index at www.socialsecurity. gov/pressoffice/pr/onlineservices-accolades-pr.htm.

Try out the best online services in government for yourself at Social Security's website, www.socialsecurity.gov.

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