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WASHINGTON – The Social Security Administration (SSA) took a step forward this week in reinstating communication options to millions of Americans who lack Internet access or choose to conduct their personal business on paper.
In September, the SSA will resume mailing earnings statements every five years to citizens who have not signed up to view them on the agency’s website. Only 6 percent of the workforce signed up for online statements.
This decision comes on the heels of a resolution (H.Res. 97) introduced by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Mike Michaud (D-ME), which calls on federal agencies to ensure that taxpayers have the option to receive important information on paper.
“We commend the SSA for their decision to reinstate mailing this critical document and thank Reps. Duffy and Michaud for shedding light on this issue to federal decision makers,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman. “So many Americans rely on these documents for retirement planning, and those who may need them the most are the very people who don’t have Internet access or simply prefer a paper option.”
Citizens have increasingly been denied the option to access federal services and communications such as Social Security and tax documents and savings bonds in a paper format, which is problematic in light of a recent survey that revealed:
- 72 percent of respondents said the government should continue to provide important documents and records in paper form;
- nearly 30 percent of American households lack Internet access;
- 45 percent of seniors do not own a computer; and
- 8 percent of the population chooses to not conduct business online.
For more information about this issue, visit www.afandpa.org/issues or www.paperoptions.org
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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $210 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.