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Social Security Questions and Answers
By Erin Thompson, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security
Toledo, OH
Guest Column


What can I do at www.socialsecurity.gov?


There are many things you can do on Social Securityís website. You can conduct most of your Social Security business with us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. You can get an estimate of future benefits, find out if you qualify for benefits now, and even apply for benefits. You can complete a number of other tasks online, too, including replacing your Social Security card in some states. You can estimate your retirement benefit using our Retirement Estimator, which allows you to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefit based on different retirement ages and scenarios. You can even open your own my Social Security account to plan for and manage your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.



Can I refuse to give my Social Security number to a private business?


Yes, you can refuse to disclose your Social Security number, and you should be careful about giving out your number. But, be aware, the person requesting your number can refuse services if you donít give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone's number and use it for any purpose that doesnít violate a federal or state law. To learn more about your Social Security number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.



Iím 17 and eager to start my first summer job, but my mother misplaced my Social Security card. How can I get another?

If you know your Social Security number, you may not need to get a replacement card to obtain employment. However, if a prospective employer requests it, you can get a replacement Social Security card by following the steps below. There is no charge for a Social Security card, but you are limited to three per calendar year and 10 replacement cards during your lifetime.

You will need to:

  • Show the required documents. We need to see different documents depending on your citizenship and the type of card you are requesting. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber to find out what documents you will have to show;
  • Fill out an Application for a Social Security Card; and
  • Take or mail your application and original or certified copies of the original documents to your local Social Security office.

For more information, read our pamphlet, Your Social Security Number and Card at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.



Why should I sign up for a my Social Security online account?


my Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can:

         Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;

         Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;

         Get a replacement Social Security card if you meet certain criteria and reside in these locations;

         Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and

         Manage your benefits:

o    Change your address or telephone number;

o    Start or change your direct deposit;

o    Get a replacement Medicare card; and

o    Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.



I prefer reading by audio book. Does Social Security have audio publications?


Yes, we do. You can find them at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Some of the publications available include What You Can Do Online, Working While Disabled - How We Can Help, Apply Online for Social Security Benefits, and Your Social Security Card and Number. You can listen now at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.




Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/22/19 12:32:59 -0500.

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