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Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the agency has a new Open Government webpage available to the public at www.socialsecurity.gov/open. The new webpage serves as the portal for all agency activities that support the Presidents Transparency and Open Government initiative.

“Our new Open Government webpage gives Americans an opportunity to give us their ideas on how we can become a more open and transparent agency, Commissioner Astrue said. “They will be able to post their ideas on transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation that should be included in our Open Government Plan.

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced the agency is providing helpful health care information and website links to the more than three million individuals who apply each year for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

The website links take disability applicants to two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) websites www.healthfinder.gov where they will find information and tools to help them better understand and cope with their conditions; and www.healthfinder.gov/rxdrug where they may be able to get help paying for prescription drugs.

When you think of Social Security, you probably think about a monthly payment for retired and disabled workers. But Social Security has a rich history full of interesting facts.

The program has been around for almost 75 years, so there has been ample time to put together a list of fun facts and figures. Here are a few. Social Security paid benefits to about 55.8 million people in 2008. Fifty-six percent of adult beneficiaries were women.

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced that the agency is adding 38 more conditions to its list of Compassionate Allowances. This is the first expansion since the original list of 50 conditions - 25 rare diseases and 25 cancers - was announced in October 2008.

The new conditions range from adult brain disorders to rare diseases that primarily affect children. The complete list of the new Compassionate Allowance conditions is attached.

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