Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Let's Address Some Frequently Asked Questions Posed To Social Security.

 


Question: How can I get proof of my benefits to apply for a loan?

Answer: If you need proof you get Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicare, you can request a benefit verification letter online through your my Social Security account at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. This letter is sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter.” You even can select the information you want included in your online benefit verification letter.

Question: I’m getting married soon. How can I get my name changed on my Social Security card?

Answer: After the wedding, gather your marriage document and other papers proving your: identity; and United States (if you have not yet established your citizenship with us) or immigration status (including Department of Homeland Security permission to work in the United States). Then, complete an application for a Social Security card, which you can find at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. Finally, mail your completed application and documents or take this information to your local Social Security office. You can find your nearest Social Security office at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator. Remember: Your documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Any documents you mail to us will be returned to you along with a receipt.

Question: Is it true that ten thousand people are retiring each day? What is the best way for me to apply and avoid long lines in my Social Security office?

Answer: Yes. The best way is to use our online retirement application at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. You can complete it in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy. You can apply from the comfort of your home or office at a time most convenient for you. Once you’ve electronically submitted your application, you’re done. In most cases, there’s no need to submit any documents. There’s also no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.

Question: Does Social Security offer tools for retirement planning?

Answer: Yes. Social Security offers several retirement planning tools to help you better understand your Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future. Go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners to get started. Then choose a benefit calculator to estimate your monthly benefit amounts.

Question: I have a 38-year-old son who has been disabled by cerebral palsy since birth. I plan to apply for retirement benefits. Will he be eligible for benefits as my disabled child?

Answer: Yes. In general, an adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because we pay it on the parent’s Social Security earnings record. The “adult child”—including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild—must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22.

Question: I just received my first disability payment. How long will I continue to get them?

Answer: In most cases, you will continue to receive benefits as long as you are disabled. However, there are certain circumstances that may change your continuing eligibility for disability benefits. For example,

Your health may improve to the point where you are no longer disabled; or Like many people, you would like to go back to work rather than depend on your disability benefits and you are successful in your attempt.

Also, the law requires that we review your case from time to time to verify you are still disabled. We tell you if it is time to review your case, and we also keep you informed about your benefit status. You also should be aware that you are responsible for letting us know if your health improves or you go back to work.

 

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