Today, the Social Security Administration released its first Equity Action Plan, supporting President Biden’s whole-of-government equity agenda to advance equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity for all.
On Jan. 20, 2021, The president signed an executive order that advances racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government. The executive order requires all federal agencies “to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and other people who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
“Social Security’s programs touch the lives of nearly every American, providing income security for the diverse populations we serve, including people facing barriers, people with disabilities, people who are widowed, retirees and their families,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of Social Security.
“Systemic barriers may prevent people who need our programs the most from accessing them. Our Equity Action Plan will help to reduce these barriers and ensure people have access to our services,” said Kijakazi.
Social Security’s Equity Action Plan includes:
- Increasing collection of race and ethnicity data to help understand whether programs are equitably serving applicants and beneficiaries
- Revising policies and practices to expand options for service delivery
- Ensuring equitable access for unrepresented claimants in the disability application process
- Decreasing burdens for people who identify as gender diverse or transgender in the Social Security number card application process, and
- Increasing access to research grant programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions and procurement opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.