Programs can be accessed at home

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 18, 2001

Women needing information about Social Security benefits have another helping hand.

Monday, June 18, 2001

Women needing information about Social Security benefits have another helping hand. The U.S. Social Security Administration launched a Web site in April aimed at helping women consumers of services, the agency said.

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The idea is to help a segment of the population that is often underhelped, said Bette Backus, director of the Social Security office in Ironton.

"A lot of studies they’ve done show women are more disadvantaged and have lower knowledge of Social Security, and end up with lower income because of that," Mrs. Backus said.

The new website (part of Social Security’s site at targets efforts to help women prepare for different stages of their lives, she said.

Recognizing the need for women to have access to timely, accurate information about their rights to benefits under the program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) unveiled the new site, Social Security Online "For Women," said Larry Massanari, acting commissioner of Social Security.

The site provides basic Social Security program information on retirement, survivors, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits pertinent to women.

"The Social Security program treats all workers – men and women – exactly the same. But because of different life experiences, the real world results are different," Massanari said. "As a group, women live longer than men, earn less and rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income. They need to know what the program means to them in their particular circumstances."

"For Women,", provides links to basic information throughout SSA’s official Web site – Social Security Online – that can be relevant to women at different stages in their life. The links are grouped in logical categories to coincide with the various life events affecting women: Working women, Beneficiary, Bride, Widow, New mother, Divorced spouse, Caregiver.

"For Women" also provides links to other federal agency websites containing information of interest to women, such as the Department of Labor’s "Women’s Bureau," the Department of Health and Human Service’s "Women’s Health" and the White House’s "Federal Programs and Resources for Women and Families."