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Eileen Ambrose | January 24, 2012
Social Security Administration will resume paper statements of estimated benefits to certain workers age 60 and up beginning next month, according to a letter from the agency's commissioner released this morning by two senators. In the letter dated Jan. 20, Social Security CommissionerMichael J. Astruesaid the agency will begin mailing paper statements to workers 60 and older next month. Additionally, workers at age 25 will receive a first-time paper statement by the end of this year that is accompanied by an explanation of the program.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2014
Carolyn W. Colvin's nomination to lead the Social Security Administration cleared the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, queuing up a final vote for the Maryland native later this year. The committee voted 22-2 to advance her nomination to head the Woodlawn-based agency, where she has served as acting commissioner since early last year. "Colvin has vast management experience and a steely resolve to complete successfully whatever mission she is assigned," Sen. Ben Cardin, a member of the committee, said in a statement.
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NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2013
President Barack Obama is expected to soon nominate a new head of the Social Security Administration, replacing an incumbent appointed by his predecessor, George W. Bush, but the White House is mum on who should take the helm at the agency, which faces voluminous backlogs, potential insolvency and a raft of critics. Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue's six-year term expires Jan. 19. His successor must be confirmed by the Senate, in a process that Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, expects will take a couple of months from the hearings to a vote.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
J. Paul Gahagan, a retired Social Security Administration disability analyst and an accomplished woodworker, died Sunday at College Manor Nursing Home in Lutherville of complications from an infection. He was 87. James Paul Gahagan - he never used his first name, family members said - was born in Baltimore and raised in East Baltimore. "He grew up on Aiken Street and had many childhood adventures, including walking over the beams of the Howard Street bridge," said a daughter, Kathy Briggs of Stoneleigh.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2013
A Baltimore County man was convicted Wednesday in the nonfatal shooting of an employee outside the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn in 2011. Gary Stokes, 23, was found guilty by a Baltimore County jury in the shooting that caused the Social Security complex on Security Boulevard to go on lockdown for more than an hour. Police said Stokes robbed Obie Blackmon of his cellphone and then shot him in the arm as he was taking an afternoon walk in woods near the campus. Stokes faces up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree assault, robbery with a dangerous weapon and the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | July 26, 2012
Advocates for plain language have issued their first report card on how clearly federal agencies communicate with taxpayers and others - and the Social Security Administration has drawn a pair of C's. That put the Woodlawn-based administration in the middle of the dozen agencies assessed by the Center for Plain Language. The Washington-based organization promotes clear, easy-to-understand communication in government, business, nonprofits and academia. On the first anniversary of the Plain Writing Act, the center graded each agency this month on how well it has met the requirements of the law and how well it has followed the "spirit" of the legislation.
NEWS
December 12, 2012
Your article states that Social Security worker Celisa Ford is "losing sleep and is stressed," fearful that she will have to pull her daughter out of college, because she has had a two-year pay freeze ("On the brink of the fiscal cliff," Dec. 6). I work in the private sector and have not had a pay raise in five years. I have a daughter who just left college and got married, a second in college, and one about to go next year. I am stressed too. Unlike Ms. Ford, I don't have time to take off work and whine in a picket line on North Greene Street.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | November 1, 2011
Rose Givens Simpson, a retired Social Security Administration clerk, died of pancreatic cancer Oct. 20 at her daughter's home in Diamond Bar, Calif. The former West Baltimore resident was 97. Born Rose Givens in Baltimore and raised on Caroline Street, she was a 1932 Dunbar High School graduate. During World War II, she worked at the Curtis Bay Ammunition Depot. She later worked at the Social Security Administration's downtown location in the Candler Building. She retired from its Woodlawn headquarters.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau of The Sun | August 4, 1995
WASHINGTON -- With Republicans promising legislative ZTC action, the Social Security Administration underwent another round of sharp criticism on Capitol Hill yesterday for delays in handling disability claims and for failing to weed out recipients who are no longer disabled.Saying the program "is in real trouble," Rep. Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican who heads the Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, vowed, "We're going to do something about it."The SSA probably won't like what we do, but we're going to do it anyway.
NEWS
By MELISSA HARRIS | May 19, 2006
A decade ago, the Social Security Administration lent its sister agency four very valuable items for its 30th anniversary: a pen that President Lyndon B. Johnson used to sign the Medicare Act into law, the gavel used in the House of Representatives to mark the act's passage, and the first two Medicare beneficiary cards - owned and signed by President Harry and first lady Bess Truman. Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wanted to keep them. Larry DeWitt made sure they got only the pen. A civil servant for 29 years, DeWitt is the Social Security Administration's historian and is quite protective of his agency's collection of memorabilia, kept in a small, first-floor museum just around the corner from the main building's metal detector.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2014
Criticism of President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Social Security Administration appeared to evaporate Thursday at a confirmation hearing that featured few questions about controversial service cuts and recent allegations of mismanagement. Carolyn W. Colvin's hearing before the Senate Finance Committee - which took place hours ahead of a scheduled monthlong recess - drew only two Republicans and lasted less than an hour, an indication the Maryland native might face an easier path to the job than initially expected.
NEWS
July 30, 2014
Letter writer Thomas F. McDonough has it all wrong ("Social Security boondoggle proves conservatives' point," July 29). Not so long ago, the Social Security Administration was faced with a similar programming embarrassment. There was a scandal involving losing people's records. What was happening was that each of the national programming centers and the headquarters here in Maryland had their own individual tracking systems that worked by reading a punch card kept in a pocket in the file at each location the file passed through.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 26, 2014
Two weeks after the Social Security Administration received a report criticizing management for a dysfunctional, $300 million computer system, agency officials provided only a cursory summary of the findings at a meeting of a committee overseeing the project, documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun show. According to minutes from a June 17 steering committee meeting, agency officials provided limited detail about the report - noting only one of its recommendations, for instance. That lends credibility to claims by congressional Republicans that top officials at the Woodlawn-based agency delayed releasing its full details.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The Social Security Administration announced Thursday it will continue to provide benefit verification letters at field offices, reversing an earlier plan to cut that service that had led to criticism from members of the public and some lawmakers in Congress. The Woodlawn-based agency, in an effort to cut costs, announced in February that the documents -- which allow beneficiaries as well as employers and government agencies to verify someone is receiving benefits -- would only be available online starting in October.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2014
The Social Security Administration is overhauling its internal anti-discrimination program after federal auditors found that the agency failed to establish an adequate system for handling employee claims. Auditors from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported in May that the Woodlawn-based agency had failed to follow regulations on addressing workplace discrimination complaints, had manipulated data to boost case completion rates and might have allowed managers to interfere in what were supposed to be impartial investigations.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2014
The federal government will run out of money to deal with the influx of Central American children crossing the U.S. border illegally this summer if lawmakers fail to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funds, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a Senate panel Thursday. Meanwhile, federal officials planned to assess a former Army Reserve site in Westminster as a possible shelter for some of the children, according to a document obtained by The Baltimore Sun. The Obama administration has considered - and rejected - three other sites in Maryland.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 31, 1995
WASHINGTON -- With the fate of its leader uncertain, the Social Security Administration officially becomes an "independent" agency today, reporting directly to the White House.The change, to be marked at an afternoon ceremony at the agency's Woodlawn headquarters, removes half its personnel and more than half its budget from the Department of Health and Human Services.It also fulfills a long-held goal of many members of Congress who maintain that successive administrations have deprived Social Security of money and personnel and believe that the agency should have a higher profile to increase public confidence in the agency.
NEWS
July 1, 2014
The appointment of Carolyn Colvin as commissioner of Social Security Administration amid questions of cutback actions by Congress is laughable ( "Obama taps Colvin to lead Social Security," June 20). Why can't Congress see that it is the problem, not the solution? They are the ones who have not increased the budget to run the agency and who also allowed attorneys to file disability claim after claim that have put a stranglehold not only on the system but on the benefits paid.
BUSINESS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
— President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Social Security Administration will face tough questioning from lawmakers during her confirmation — and many of the hardest queries could come from members of her own party. Carolyn W. Colvin, chosen by Obama this month to head the Woodlawn-based agency, has sparked little opposition from seniors groups or Republicans, but a growing number of Democrats are voicing concerns about cuts the agency has made under her watch. More than a hundred House Democrats have signed a letter urging the agency to reconsider some of those reductions.
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