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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 23, 1999

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore unveiled Access America for Seniors, an Internet site providing a wide range of services to older Americans -- an example of his vision of one-stop Internet access to government services.

The new web site, at, provides information and services offered by virtually every major Federal government agency, civilian and military. All are accessible with a few clicks from the Access America for Seniors home page.

"This is an excellent example of our efforts to reinvent government to provide services that the American people need and care about," Vice President Gore said.

"Through this new web site, seniors can change their address with the Post Office, compare nursing homes, request Social Security statements, get IRS tax forms and find a variety of other government information."

The site is hosted by the Social Security Administration, whose official web site, Social Security Online, has won numerous awards as one of the best in the government. As part of today's announcement, Social Security Commissioner Kenneth S. Apfel unveiled two new Internet services that Social Security will offer to the public.

Social Security benefit recipients can now request official agency statements of their benefits through the Access America web site, and receive them in the mail within ten days. For example, Form SSA-1099, which is used by seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries in preparing their Federal income tax returns, will be available.

In addition, seniors can request an official letter verifying how much they will receive in monthly benefits. This letter is frequently used by some aged or disabled beneficiaries to establish eligibility for state and local assistance programs.

"This is another example of Social Security using the web site to provide better, faster service to our customers," Commissioner Apfel said. "We're constantly seeking secure ways to use technology, in this case, the Internet, to broaden the range of official Social Security information and services available to the American public."