George Takei, Patty Duke Promote SSA’s Online Services

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Patty Duke and George Takei in a "Star Trek" setting.

Entertainment icons George Takei and Patty Duke have teamed up to tell Americans to “boldly go” to www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and much more.

The two celebrities are joining forces in a new campaign to help the Social Security Administration promote its online services as an easy and secure way for people to do business with the agency.

“Social Security has a great website and the top-rated online services in the U.S.,” said Michael Astrue, commissioner of Social Security. “We now have a fun new way to get the word out. Having George join forces with Patty will help us reach the millions of people who can take advantage of this convenient way of doing business with Social Security. Boldly go to www.socialsecurity.gov to plan for your retirement and to apply online so that you too may live long and prosper.”

Both actors are readily recognizable to baby boomers. Takei played Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series (1966-1969) and six feature films; Duke played identical cousins Patty and Cathy in “The Patty Duke Show” (1963-1966) and recently reprised those roles in a series of spots promoting SSA’s website, some featuring other cast members from the show.

Most of the eight new commercials have a backdrop resembling the bridge of the USS Enterprise and the two actors wearing Starfleet uniforms.

“Won’t filing for Social Security benefits online be confusing?” Takei asks Duke in one of the PSAs. “It’s simple and easy,” Duke assures Takei. “It’s so easy, even Kirk could do it.” (A reference to the “Star Trek” captain played by William Shatner.)

Those ready to retire, apply for disability benefits, or delay retirement and apply only for Medicare can do so from the comfort of their home or from any computer. Two million people took advantage of Social Security’s convenient online benefit applications last year. People already receiving Social Security benefits can go online to let Social Security know about a change of address or phone number, start or change direct deposit, get a proof of income letter, or replace a lost Medicare card.

Social Security’s website “is for everyone,” Duke tells Takei in another spot. Workers can get an online estimate of their future retirement benefits and use Social Security’s planners to plan for a secure retirement.

In addition, Duke says, “Young people can help their grandparents with retiring online or getting extra help with their Medicare prescription drug costs.” To which Takei concludes, “Everyone, of all ages, should go to www.socialsecurity.gov.”

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