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Silver Sands

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.

Maintaining the spark in a years-long relationship has its challenges. Particularly in this day and age, spouses sometimes only see each other for a few hours a day between work, meetings, kids and other obligations.

Letting your relationship languish can have dire consequences. The worst-case scenario might be separation, but even if things don't go that far, partners can start to feel alienated, alone and unloved. Problems really start when frustration builds up but doesn't get voiced and when subjects that are hard to talk about are left unattended.