Benefits For Children With Disabilities
Our Supplemental Security Income program helps children with qualifying disabilities and their families. For this program, a child must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and medically eligible:
- The child must have a medical condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in marked and severe functional limitations. This means that the condition must very seriously limit the childs activities.
- The childs condition must have been disabling, or be expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months or the condition must be expected to result in death.
Have your clients visit www.ssa.gov/people/parents/ to learn more, including resources to help parents understand and prepare for child disability benefits.
Social Security Supports National Cancer Survivors Day
In 2017, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families from all walks of life. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. On June 4, we observed National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States. In support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.
Social Security stands strong in our support of the fight against cancer. We offer services to patients dealing with this disease through our disability insurance program and our Compassionate Allowances program. Compassionate Allowances result from medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Securitys disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are part of our Compassionate Allowances list.
Theres no special application or form you need to submit for a Compassionate Allowance. Simply apply for disability benefits online, in-person, or over the phone. Once we identify you as having a Compassionate Allowance condition, well expedite your disability application. You and your clients can learn more atwww.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.
Supplemental Security Income Applications Now Online
Were always looking for ways to provide your clients with innovative, quality services, and with our newest online enhancement, were proud to be doing just that. Now, if your clients meet certain requirements, they can file Supplemental Security Income and disability applications at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/ssi/ at the same time.
Your clients can apply online if they:
- Are between the ages of 18 and 65
- Have never been married
- Arent blind
- Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands and
- Havent applied for or received SSI benefits in the past.
If they started another application online before April 1, but havent submitted it, they can take advantage of this new service option and submit a disability and SSI application together.
With this update, we expanded service to customers with limited English proficiency by allowing them to request an appointment online for an in-person claim or teleclaim in the language of their choice. As we provide this new service in many languages, including Spanish, we are discontinuing the separate Spanish language iClaim option. Applicants who started and saved an iClaim in Spanish can still enter the portal and complete it for up to six months after the claim start date.
With disability, and now SSI benefit applications online, were allowing more and more of our customers to access benefits when, where, and how they want.
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Who Do I Contact Social Security Or Medicare
Knowing who to contact and when can save your clients time. Our new one-page publication Who Do I Contact Social Security or Medicare? tells them exactly that:
- Spanish: www.ssa.gov/pubs/ES-05-10500-SP.pdf
Please share this resource with your clients as a quick reference for who to contact for what service.
Exploring Potential Changes To The Ticket To Work Regulations
In April, Social Security will hold the sixth National Disability Forum on Exploring Potential Changes to the Ticket to Work Regulations. The Ticket to Work Program provides employment support to our beneficiaries with disabilities as they work toward self-sufficiency. The forum invites stakeholders to suggest improvements to the program, both in person and virtually. Presenters represent many of our stakeholders: employment networks, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, and Ticket to Work Program participants.
The NDF is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET at the National Education Association located at 1201 16th Street NW, Washington D.C. The forum will also be available via teleconference. You and your clients can view the NDF website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ndf for more details.
The Disability Forum will provide an arena for advocates to share ideas that could support Social Security beneficiary employment goals, increase participation in the Ticket to Work Program, design effective employment models, and foster success with our employment networks.
You and your clients can visit the NDF website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ndf to register and post your comments on IdeaScale.
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Goa Has Never Wavered From Its Mission To Defend The Second Amendment
Over the last 30 years, GOA has built a nationwide network of attorneys to help fight court battles in almost every state in the nation to protect gun owner rights. GOA staff and attorneys have also worked with members of Congress, state legislators and local citizens to protect gun ranges and local gun clubs from closure by overzealous government anti-gun bureaucrats.
As an example, GOA fought for and won, the right of gun owners to sue and recover damages from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for harassment and unlawful seizure of firearms.
Disability Benefits When Your Clients Need Them
Disability benefits offer a financial lifeline for your eligible clients. Benefits are for severe impairments that have lasted, or are expected to last, for at least one year or are expected to result in death. When determining if a person meets our definition of disability, we consider medical severity, duration, earnings, and ability to perform past relevant work or any other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. There are two programs that pay disability benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you meet eligibility requirements including you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes to be insured.
- Supplemental Security Income makes payments to people who have low income and few resources, and who are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled.
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Securing Today And Tomorrow For All
Social Security takes pride in supporting people from all backgrounds. In May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in America, including one of the fastest-growing populations of older adults.
Our website has many resources for the AAPI community. There you will find out why Social Security is especially important to AAPIs and their families. Visit our website and learn about the various ways in which we help the AAPI community secure today and tomorrow. You and your clients can view our website for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/aapi.
Inspector General Warns About New Phone Scams
Social Securitys Office of the Inspector General is warning citizens to stay vigilant and protect themselves from potential phone scams seeking their personal information and resources. Gale Stallworth Stone, the acting inspector general of Social Security, recently issued two scam alerts.
Citizens across the country are receiving calls from an individual posing as a Social Security employee. The caller tells the victim they are due a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment increase of their Social Security benefits. The impersonator then asks the victim to verify their personal information to receive the increase. Reports show the calls have been coming from a phone number with a 323 area code. This call is fraudulent.
Another scheme allegedly targets former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn. According to reports, the scammers claim to be from Social Security and offer people $9,000 from a Conn Client Compensation Fund if they send $200 to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This compensation fund does not exist. The number associated with these calls is 202-681-5115.
We want to stress that Social Security staff arenot making these calls. If you or your clients receive a similarly suspicious call from someone claiming to represent Social Security or its Office of the Inspector General, please report it by calling 1-800-269-0271 or by visiting .
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National Disability Forum Enhancing The Reconsideration Process
We held our most recent National Disability Forum on November 28, 2018 at the Partnership for Public Service. The title for this forum was Enhancing the Reconsideration Process. There were 340 registrants, including the livestream attendees.
Acting Chief of Staff Bea Disman provided opening remarks. Grace Kim, Acting Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Operations, welcomed the participants. Darlynda Bogle, Executive Secretary in the Office of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security was the moderator. Kathryn Olson, Democratic Staff Director, House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security provided additional remarks. There were several panelists:
- Phoebe Ball, Legislative Affairs Specialist, National Council on Disability
- Cheryl Bates-Harris, Senior Disability Advocacy Specialist, National Disability Rights Network
- Dr. Sharon Bland-Brady, President, National Association of Disability Examiners
- Lisa Ekman, Director of Government Affairs, National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives
- Trudy Lyon-Hart, Policy/Quality Committee Chair and Board Member, National Council of Disability Determination Directors
- Christopher Mazzulli, Treasurer, National Association of Disability Representatives
Social Security Testifies Before Congress
On September 27, Rajive Mathur, Deputy Commissioner for Systems, testified before a Congressional committee on efforts to modernize information technology at the Social Security Administration. In his testimony, he said:
The scope of our programs is immense, and information technology is vital to nearly every aspect of the work we do to serve the public. IT allows our field office employees to collect pertinent information and perform complex benefit calculations it provides for electronic storage and retrieval of medical records and other information it protects the sensitive personal, benefits, and earnings information that we maintain and it helps identify and prevent fraud and improper payments in our programs and across government.
Social Security tirelessly protects your information. You and your clients can read the transcript in its entirety at www.socialsecurity.gov/legislation/congressionaltestimony.html.
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Social Security Teamed Up With Suze Orman For National Social Security Month
Financial planning expert Suze Orman shared her expertise with Social Security as part of National Social Security Month. Suze wrote four guest blog posts on Social Security and retirement planning that we posted in ourSocial Security Matters blog every Thursday in April. We appreciate Ms. Orman joining our effort pro bono. You and your clients can read the posts at blog.socialsecurity.gov/author/suze-orman.
Social Security hosted a National Social Security Month conference call featuring Suze Orman on April 19. We invited the Financial Literacy and Education Commission federal partner agencies, American Savings Education Council , and JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. We also invited non-governmental partners who work on financial literacy issues as well as other close partners.
Social Security Celebrates Black History Month
In February, our nation honors African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Our programs and services offer a lifetime of protections for African Americans and their families. Your clients might find our People Like Me page helpful when planning for their future financial security: www.ssa.gov/people/africanamericans.
Also, please let your clients know that they can do much of their Social Security business online with secure access to their personal mySocial Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
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A New Way To Report Tax Identity Theft
Tax-related identity theft happens when someone steals your Social Security number and other personal information, files a tax return, and claims your refund. You might find out about it when you try to e-file and learn that someone already submitted a return or when the Internal Revenue Service sends you a letter saying it received a suspicious tax return with your Social Security number.
A new service from the Federal Trade Commission and IRS allows people to report tax-related identity theft to the IRS online and get help making an identity theft recovery plan. Inform your clients that they can protect themselves and find out what steps to take if they are a victim by pointing them to IdentityTheft.gov.
Secure Your Future During National Social Security Month
In April, we celebrate National Social Security Month and encourage you and your clients to get to knowyour Social Security by exploring what you can do online at www.socialsecurity.gov. Social Security is collaborating with groups and organizations around the country to host numerous events and activities to raise awareness about our many valuable benefits, services, and programs. Here is what Social Security offers:
- Easy accessibility: Whether you want to estimate the amount of your future Social Security benefits, replace a lost Social Security card, or apply for retirement, disability, or Medicare benefits,www.socialsecurity.gov is your reliable source for information to help you and your loved ones.
- Convenient services: Our convenient and secure online services at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices put you in control.
- Safe interaction: One of our most important responsibilities is protecting your personal information and your financial contributions. We use state-of-the-art systems for this, conduct continuous reviews to help us ensure proper payments, and much more.
Were committed to safeguarding the information and resources entrusted to us. Are you looking for secure access to your Social Security information? Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and create your personalmySocial Security account.
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Get Your Social Security Benefit Verification Letter Online
If your clients need proof they get Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicare, they can get a benefit verification letter online by using their personal mySocial Security account. This letter is sometimes called a “budget letter,” “benefits letter,” “proof of income letter,” or “proof of award letter.” Organizations may request this letter from your client if they apply for state or local benefits, a mortgage, assisted housing, or a loan.
Your clients can also get proof that they have never received Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income, or proof that they have applied for benefits.
To get any of these kinds of benefit verification letters, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
If clients cant or dont want to use their online account, or they need a letter for a dependent, they can call us at 1-800-772-1213 , Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Need To Change Your Name On Your Social Security Card
If someone legally changes their name, they need to tell Social Security so we can send an updated card. Changes to your name cannot be completed online with Social Security.
To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. You also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cant accept photocopies or notarized copies. You can find out which documents you must show to change your name at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10513.pdf.
For complete instructions, you and your clients can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.
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Advance Designation: Choose A Representative Payee For Social Security To Consider Before You May Need One
The future can be uncertain. However, Social Securitys Advance Designation program can help put your clients in control of their benefits if a time comes when they need a representative payee to help manage their money. Advance Designation enables them to identify up to three people, in priority order, whom they would like to serve as their potential representative payee.
The following people may choose an Advance Designation:
- Adults applying for benefits who do not have a representative payee.
- Adults receiving Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments who do not have a representative payee.
- Emancipated minors applying for benefits who do not have a representative payee.
- Emancipated minors receiving Social Security benefits or SSI payments who do not have a representative payee.
If your clients fall into one of the above categories, they may provide and update Advance Designation information when they:
- File a claim for benefits online.
- Use the application available in your personal mySocial Security account.
Your clients may also change their Advance Designation, including the priority order, at any time while they are still capable of making their own decisions. In the event that they can no longer make their own decisions, your clients and their family will have peace of mind knowing they already chose someone they trust to manage their benefits.
Five Ways To Apply For Social Security Benefits Online
We continue to make it easier for your clients to access our programs and benefits. Our website offers the most convenient way to apply for benefits.
Your clients can apply online for:
- Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits Your client must be at least 61 years and 9 months in age and want benefits to start in no more than four months. Apply at www.ssa.gov/retireonline.
- Disability Benefits Your clients can use our online application, available at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline.
- Supplemental Security Income If your clients meet certain requirements, they may begin their application online at www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi – or call their local Social Security office.
- Medicare If your clients are not already receiving Social Security benefits, they should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65 at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.
- Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs People who need assistance with the cost of medications can apply for Extra Help at www.ssa.gov/i1020.
Please encourage your clients to visit the links above or www.ssa.gov to see other helpful information and services.
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