News Release

Workers, near-retirees and current beneficiaries have a reputable, FREE resource for accurate answers to their questions about Social Security from one of the nation’s top subject matter experts. The National Committee’s Senior Policy Analyst, Webster Phillips, a 31-year veteran of the Social Security Administration, provides personal responses to individual questions through the National Committee’s online tool, Ask Web. Phillips provides answers on a wide range of Social Security topics – from spousal and survivor’s benefits to the timing of Social Security retirement claims.

“Social Security is essential to financial security for retirees, the disabled, survivors and their families.  But the program’s rules and policies can be confusing.  We want to make sure that people get timely and accurate information so they can make wise decisions regarding their benefits. The Social Security Administration also provides help, but can be hard to reach due to budget constraints, staffing shortages and the increasing demand for services. There are also professional retirement advisors who may charge a fee for advice about Social Security.  As a nonprofit, we are committed to providing the public with accurate, unbiased information at no cost.  I can’t think of anyone more qualified to answer the public’s Social Security questions than Web Phillips.” – Max Richtman, president and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Since joining the National Committee staff in 2010, Phillips has been the organization’s chief expert on Social Security. Members of Congress and their staffs routinely reach out to him for advice on Social Security policy.  Previously, he enjoyed a 31-year career at the Social Security Administration, where he served as a claims administrator, field office supervisor, and ultimately a manager at the agency’s headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.

Members of the public can easily submit questions to Phillips using a simple form on the Ask Web page.  He will reply via email within a 5-7 business days.  Submitters are welcome to ask follow-up questions.  Frequently asked questions with Web’s answers are also available for review on the Ask Web page. They include:

  • When should I claim Social Security benefits? 
  • Do I qualify for spousal benefits? 
  • How does working in a foreign country affect my Social Security benefits? 
  • What happens to my Social Security disability benefits when I reach retirement age? 
  • What is the maximum Social Security benefit I can receive?  

Phillips has answered Social Security questions during frequent appearances on radio and television.  He is often quoted in national press coverage of Social Security issues. For more than 30 years, the National Committee has helped Americans get answers to their Social Security questions- along with advocating for the preservation and strengthening of Social Security and Medicare.


The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff.  The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

Media Inquiries to:

Pamela Causey 202-216-8378; 202-236-2123
Walter Gottlieb 202-276-9089