570 Social Security and Medicare

571 General Information

571.1 Overview

This subchapter on Social Security and Medicare is designed to be illustrative and provide general guidance. Employees with specific questions concerning their Social Security or Medicare should address those questions to the nearest office of the Social Security Administration. Social Security information is also available on the Internet at http://www.ssa.gov or by phone at 800–772–1213 and TTY 800–325–0778.

571.2 Social Security

571.21 Objectives

Social Security (SS) is the federal government’s basic method of providing a continuing income to workers and their families when their earnings are terminated or reduced because of retirement, disability, or death. Social Security insurance payments are not meant to replace all lost earnings; therefore, employees are encouraged to supplement Social Security payments with savings, private pensions, investments, or other insurance.

571.22 Programs

The Social Security Act and related laws have established a number of programs to accomplish the above objectives. Retirement, survivors, and disability insurance payments, commonly known as Social Security Benefits, are among the programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

571.3 Medicare

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) is responsible for administering the federal health insurance program commonly known as Medicare. This program was established to provide comprehensive health insurance protection for people age 65 or older and certain disabled people. Medicare is composed of two parts — hospital insurance and medical insurance. In most instances, a person must file an application for benefits and must meet certain eligibility requirements to actually receive benefits under those programs.