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Social Security Questions and Answers

By Erin Thompson, Public Affairs Specialist, Toledo, OH

Guest Column

Question:

How can I protect myself against identity theft?

Answer:

First, donít carry your Social Security card with you. Keep it secure at home with your other important papers. Second, donít readily give out your Social Security number. While many banks, schools, doctors, landlords, and others will request your number, it is your decision whether to provide it. Ask if there is some other way to identify you in their records.

If you are the victim of identity theft, you should report it right away. To report identity theft, fraud, or misuse of your Social Security number, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (the nationís consumer protection agency) recommends you:

         Place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the following companies (The company you contact is required to contact the other two, which will then place alerts on your reports.):

o   Equifax, 1-800-525-6285;

o   Trans Union, 1-800-680-7289; or

o   Experian, 1-888-397-3742.

         Review your credit report for inquiries from companies you have not contacted, accounts you did not open, and debts on your accounts you cannot explain;

         Close any accounts you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently;

         File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place; and

         File a complaint with the FTC at 1-877-438-4338 (TTY 1-866-653-4261).

 

Question:

Can I conduct my Social Security business online in the event of a hurricane or other disaster that keeps me from visiting an office?

Answer:

Yes. You can conduct most of your business with Social Security online at www.socialsecurity.gov, where youíll find a wealth of information and services. For example, you can create or access your own my Social Security account, apply online for Social Security benefits or Medicare, and check the status of your pending application. If youíre already receiving Social Security benefits, you can change your address, phone number, or your direct deposit information, get a replacement Medicare card, or get an instant proof of income letter. You also can get your Social Security Statement online. Your Statement lets you check and verify your earnings record and see estimates of your future benefits. You also can find out if your local office is open at www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency. That site lists any office closings and delays.

 

Question:

I applied for a Social Security card for my child at the hospital and the card came back with the first name misspelled. What should I do?

Answer:

Go to your local Social Security office or card center to ask for a corrected card. We need to see at least two original documents proving your childís:

         U.S. citizenship; and

         Identity.

We also must see proof of your identity, as the parent.

The documents you show us must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. To find out more, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. There, you can learn what documents you need to fill out and print, and then bring or mail the information to us. You may also want to read the publication, Social Security Numbers For Children, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
 

 

   
   


Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/23/19 16:29:36 -0400.


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