If you’re an American citizen or permanent resident who is years away from retirement and fortunate enough to be healthy and employed, you may not give Social Security much thought. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has provided an essential financial safety net for Americans of all ages for more than 80 years.
Older Americans rely on monthly Social Security payouts to fund their retirements in part or entirely. Adults who are disabled and are unable to work in order to support themselves and their families may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Additionally, Social Security provides financial assistance to wounded veterans, as well as their surviving spouses and children in the event of an early death. By having a my Social Security account, you can apply for the majority of Social Security benefit programs online.
The United States has around 1,200 Social Security field offices, and you may locate the closest one on this Social Security website. Why would you need to visit the office when so many services are available online? Several circumstances may necessitate your visit to a Social Security office:
1.You Didn’t Get a Social Security Number for Your Newborn in the Hospital
If you have a baby at the majority of hospitals in the United States, you will be prompted to apply for a Social Security number. The hospital staff will generate a brand-new Social Security number for the new arrival using the same information provided for the baby’s birth certificate (both parents’ names and Social Security numbers).
If you choose not to obtain the Social Security number while in the hospital, or if you give birth in a small birthing facility or at home, you will need to visit a Social Security office to obtain the baby’s number. Bring the baby’s birth certificate and any other evidence that establishes your identify and kinship to the youngster.
Waiting until the child is 12 years old or older to apply for a Social Security number, the youngster must appear in person at the office for an interview, even if you sign all the papers.
2. You require a replacement card and reside in one of the sixteen states.
If you misplace your original Social Security card, you are entitled to three free replacements every year and ten throughout your life. However, not everyone will qualify for a replacement card online. You must be 18 years of age or older to apply online for a replacement card, and you cannot be requesting a name change (if you recently got married, for instance). Also, you need to supply a driver’s license number from a participating state.
If you have a current driver’s license and it was issued in one of the following states, you cannot currently apply online for a replacement Social Security card:
- State of New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
To obtain a new card in such states, you must schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office.
3. You Wish to Apply for Retirement Benefits but Are Limited in Your English Proficiency
You can begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits if you are at least 61 years and 8 months old. The amount of your monthly check is determined by the number of years you worked and your age at the time you applied for benefits. Technically, “full” retirement age is between the ages of 66 and 67, at which point you become eligible for the maximum payout.
The Social Security Administration has made it simple to apply online for Social Security retirement benefits, but only if you can read and speak English. If you are unable to complete the online application in English, the Social Security Administration recommends contacting your local Social Security office to schedule an appointment with a staff member who speaks the language you are fluent in.
4. You’re Overwhelmed by the Four Different Parts (!) of Medicare
Medicare is the government-run health insurance program in the United States of America. It is largely for persons aged 65 or older. The Social Security Administration administers the Medicare application procedure, which can be completed entirely online.
However, Medicare is far from easy and straightforward. Medicare comes in four distinct “flavors” (Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D). One is complimentary, while the other requires a monthly subscription; one covers simply prescription drugs, while the other covers hospital stays. If you can make sense of this perplexing SSA Medicare pamphlet, you may apply online. However, if you require assistance determining which Medicare plans are appropriate for you, you may wish to apply in person at a Social Security office.
5. You’re Interested in Applying for Survivor Benefits
When a loved one dies, widows and widowers (as well as children under the age of 18) are entitled to claim the deceased’s remaining Social Security benefits. These are referred to as survivor benefits. Although in most situations, the widow/widower must be over 60 to collect, they may collect at any age if they are caring for the deceased’s child who is under the age of 16 or is incapacitated.
At the moment, the SSA does not allow you to record a death or apply for survivor benefits online. While the funeral home will normally notify the Social Security Administration of the death, you must contact the SSA and schedule an appointment at a local Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits.