For many people, especially the elderly, social security is somewhat a puzzle, even when one is receiving benefits. There is an online resource that seems to help address some of the confusion and the seemingly shifting policies:
link: Social Security Online
It is a helpful resource. For example, under the ‘Other Useful Links’ feature, there is a link to “Glossary of Social Security Terms”. This may be compared to learning the language of the agency, so that questions are framed in terminology with which they are familiar.
The site is an opportunity to take a systematic, and somewhat leisurely, attempt at understanding government policy. This may be one of the sites that you might want to recommend to family members who will rely on this agency soon. Becoming familiar with just the most basic issues may require regular and frequent visits to this online resource.