Decoding Social Security: Providing Benefits to our Ancestors

Michael L. Strauss, AG
Apr 8, 2020
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2m 34s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 21s
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10m 41s
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Application Process
4m 05s
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SS-5 Form
9m 51s
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Other Forms
7m 25s
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Decoding Numbers
12m 14s
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Online Databases
21m 49s
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11m 04s
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Announcements / prizes
5m 17s
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Questions / answers
10m 40s

About this webinar

The passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 during the height the new deal era and the great depression would provide stability to our nation. By decoding the meaning of the series of numbers, ordering the applications of the social security cards, and understanding how delayed births played an important part in this act can help genealogists to find new information about their ancestors.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Michael L. Strauss, AG, an Accredited Genealogist and forensic investigator, is a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah. He holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. He is a licensed Private Investigator and qualifi
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    All new information, will be a great help in research, thanks

    Always enjoy Michael’s presentations – so full of information and interesting stories.

    Always very interesting and worthwhile. I learned a lot about something I hadn’t given much thought to before. Thank you.

    Amazing presentation, full of great information!

    An awesome blend of historical perspective and how to research. Spot on!

    awesome. didn’t mind a bit that he went over his time!!!

    Best I’ve seen so far. Jam packed with really useful information!

    best webinar ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I learned soooo much after doing research for 15 years !

    Brilliant webinar with lots of great information which I had never thought about using before, so thank you for the new leads to my Genealogy research.

    Don’t expect to use those records, but it is good to know. Excellent presentation.



    Excellent information!

    Excellent information, and Michael presented it very well.

    Excellent presentation! Have not previous heard a lecture on SSN. Thank you! : )

    Excellent presenter! Will try to attend all of his webinars to further my genealogical education 🙂

    Excellent presenter. So clearly explained and very helpful information!

    Excellent webinar and speaker. I learned many new things.Thanks.

    Excellent webinar content and delivery – Michael, thank you!!!

    Excellent Webinar, lots of great information! Thank you.

    Excellent webinar. Michael is always great.

    Excellent! Of course, I say that about a lot of these, but this one was especially excellent.

    Excellent! Very Informative!



    Excellent, excellent information and resource links.

    Excellent, useful information! Thank you.


    Extremely informative.

    Extremely interesting seminar – I took 7 pages of notes! Mr. Strauss is an excellent public speaker. Clear voiced, wonderful enunciation, which is important for those of us with hearing problems. And it is obvious he knows his subject and how to convey that interest.

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Fabulous! I learned far more than what I anticipated discovering about decoding social security. Thank you!

    Fabulous! So informative and a great detailed handout. I will definitely be watching this again.


    fantastic webinar

    Fantastic! Chock full of information that I am using now to trace my ancestors.

    Fantastic…one of the best ever!

    Good information. Thank you.


    great detailed information, clear explanations, and relevant websites. Thanks!

    Great info on a topic I hadn’t considered before.

    Great info. Thanks so very much.

    Great information

    Great information and well organized

    Great information!

    Great information!

    Great information! Well organized presentation! Thanks!

    Great information. Excited to try checking this out with my dad’s Social Security number. Thank you.

    Great information. I learned a lot about this unusual set of records–not often discussed during research webinars.

    Great job.

    Great presentation with valuable information!

    Great presentation. A lot of new information and presented in an interesting way and easy to follow.

    Great presentation. Thanks.

    great presenter.

    Great talk, very informative

    great webinar

    Great webinar. Who thought Social Security could be so interesting? Michael did a wonderful job doing that.



    He gave us pretty much all that one would want to know about Social Security

    I am surprised at how much I did not know about obtaining Social Security info. Excellent seminar!!!

    I got in late and had to miss the last 10 minutes but I really enjoyed the webinar. Thanks for the history lesson and for learning how to research the Social Security systems.

    I have always intended to get copies of some of my ancestors’ social security applications, but I’m not motivated to get that done. I learned so very much about other SSA documents that I will always pursue getting for my files. So much of this was new information to me, so I am appreciative to have this information.

    I have found another way to try to get through some of my brick walls. Thanks!!

    I learned so much about records that I didn’t even know existed. Wonderful!

    I like the historical context and the slow and steady pace of the presentation.

    I Loved the historical overview!

    I really appreciated the explanation about railroad workers, RRRB instead of Social Security. My parents worked for the RR. I understand the difference but the speaker really clarified the 2 systems. RR Medicare is also different than regular Medicare.

    I wish I was able to get the syllabus and save the chat links! I learned a lot. Thank you!

    I would have given Michael a ’10’ if that were available. I only knew about the SS-5 application cards. Had no idea all that other valuable information was available. Great job, Michael!

    Incredibly informative. I didn’t think I was going to learn as much as I did. The history portions were fantastic! Thank you!

    Informative, well presented

    Interesting information with new places to look for my ancestors.

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Learned a lot very informative.

    Learned so much about Social Security. Great history lesson about a great genealogical resource.

    learned some new things

    Learnt a lot new information, great job.

    Lots of good information.

    Lots of great information

    Lots of hidden details about SS, its history and how to find clues. Also enjoyed the info about Steve Morse’s site. Haven’t looked at that in awhile.

    Lots of new and good information.

    lots of very useful information about Social Security records andwhat they cover

    Love it. Excellent speaker and knowledgeable on subject matter.

    Loved it! Never knew that there was so much available and so much to know!

    loved this one

    Many thanks to Michael for not speeding through his material — ample time for me to digest what he was saying!

    master presentation

    Michael always has so much valuable information; love his presentations!

    Michael did a great job as always.

    Michael is always a great researcher and presenter. I look forward to all of his lectures.

    Michael is one of the best presenters and he always has a thorough syllabus.

    Michael outdid himself again. Another fantastic webinar on an often overlooked subject.

    Michael Strauss always has great talks and is very knowledgeable about the topics he presents. Great Job Mike!

    Michael Strauss is always informative, and this PowerPoint and lecture were very clear and informative.

    Michael Strauss is an excellent presenter. I have enjoyed many of his webinars.

    Michael Strauss is an excellent speaker. He packs a lot of information into the webinar timeframe. I will definitely use the information learned in my genealogy searches.

    Michael Strauss will never disappoint in his talks! Can’t wait to hear him again!

    Michael’s class was fabulous! He was organized, extremely knowledgeable, and fun! His syllabus is thorough & complete! I will attend many more of his courses. Bravo, Michael!

    More homework!!

    Most detailed webinar I have ever attended! Thank you Sir.

    Mr. Strauss’ webinars are always top-notch!

    New information about SS

    Once of the better ones with lots o content – will be going to check out his other webinars

    One of the best I’ve watched, and I’ve watched a lot of your webinars!

    One of the best webinar speaker’s ever!

    Outstanding delivery and easy to understand. Thank you for all of the useful information.

    Outstanding presenter!

    Outstanding webinar on the Social Security Death Index and cards.

    OUTSTANDING webinar!!! Very interesting information.

    Outstanding, one of the very best webinar’s of the year. Clear, concise and to the point. Thank you an come again.

    Really great webinar! Can’t wait to check out the National Archives website.

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    So much great information

    So much great information regarding Social Security!

    So much great information!!

    Speaker was very easy to understand, his speaking volume was great.I got very helpful tips.

    Thank Michael. Learned a lot of things. Can’t wait to try to locate info

    Thank you – learned a lot about the history of SS that I didn’t know, and solidified some of what I knew.

    Thanks for another great webinar. I always learn so much, and this one was no exception. Loads of historical background as well as practical application for finding the information.


    This is a 10 – excellent organization, clear presentation, packed with information!!

    This one was really loaded and I’ll have to watch it again. Thanks

    This speaker is always so thorough. There is so much to learn from his presentations. Thank you very much.

    This was awesome. Very informative and interesting. Loved it.

    This webinar from Michael Strauss was informative, interesting and well presented.

    very clear and organized!

    very clear information and very interesting talk, thank you

    Very clear presentation

    Very clear presentation. Thanks!

    Very clear, excellent job in explaining the step by step process and what you can obtain.

    very clear, thorough, and interesting

    Very easy to understand, complete!

    Very Good

    Very good information – I will definitely be requesting some of these records!

    Very good information about a lesser used source.

    Very good information!

    Very good speaker as usual! I have some research to do.

    Very good. So much knowledge! Wow!

    Thank you!

    Very helpful information. Thank you!

    Very helpful.

    very informative

    very informative

    very informative and interesting -especially regarding the Rail Road information. THank you so much —& it was FREE

    Very informative!

    Very informative!

    Very informative!

    Very informative!!!

    Very informative, great webinar

    Very informative.

    Very informative
    Very informative. Learned something new.

    Very interesting and he is very easy to understand!

    Very interesting information. Thank u

    Very interesting talk

    Very interesting, nicely paced, and helpful!

    very knowledgeable speaker

    Very thorough and detailed information concerning using the records.

    Very thorough job on the topic and a great handout.

    Very useful information which will help with some hard to pin down ancestors. Thanks

    Very. Very Good

    Well done!

    Well organized presentation, nicely balanced.

    What a wealth of information given so clearly!

    Wonderful! Lots of very very detailed information. The Webinars just get better and better. Thank you for a job well done!!

    Would like to get a syllabus for this and all future webinars.

    Wow – Michael gave far more information about SSA docs than I expected. Invaluable webinar, I am sure to watch it again and review the syllabus for deeper absorption. Thanks!

    Wow so much about the SS process and information they collected on people! Great webinar!

    Wow so much information? Great lecture.


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