An Increase in Social Security Benefits in 2017

cola2017The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) usually means an increase in the benefit amount people receive each month. By law, the monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit rate increases when there is a rise in the cost of living. The government measures changes in the cost of living through the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Continue reading

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Let Social Security Help Guide You Back To Work

ticket to workThere’s no denying that we all need a helping hand every now and then. Whether it’s to change a tire, move into a new home, or build a tree house, knowing someone is there to lend a hand is always reassuring. Social Security offers this same assurance to all those we serve each day, including beneficiaries with disabilities. When you’re ready to return to work or work for the first time, we’re here.

Our Ticket to Work program offers beneficiaries with disabilities access to meaningful employment. Employment occurs with the assistance of Ticket to Work employment service providers called Employment Networks. The primary goals of employment networks are to assist you with a variety of work-related tasks to prepare you for the workforce. Our beneficiaries get help finding a job and staying employed, as well as instruction on their wage-reporting responsibilities to Social Security. Ultimately, they assist in guiding you back to work! Continue reading

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Discover a Whole World of Retirement Possibilities

Dreamy vintage shot of senior couple enjoying a leasure cruiseChristopher Columbus might be one of the most famous explorers in America. He’s credited with discovering the New World, though Native Americans were here long before the Italian sailor.

Centuries later, there are new horizons to explore and you can do it from the comfort of your home or office. With Social Security, you can discover a new world of information and services at www.socialsecurity.gov. Continue reading

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Your Social Security Statement is now at your fingertips

SSA StatementHave you ever received a Social Security Statement in the mail? You know, the one that shows all the earnings you’ve had each year and how much you could receive per month in Social Security benefits when you retire? The Statement contains crucial information workers need to plan for a comfortable retirement. Now, thanks to my Social Security, this information—and so much more— is only a few minutes away!

Your personal my Social Security account is secure and gives you ready access to your earnings records, Social Security benefit estimates, and printable Statements. Those who already receive benefits can view their payment history, current status, and manage their benefits.

To open a personal my Social Security account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and select “Create an Account” to get started. You must be 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, U.S. mailing address (or a military address if deployed overseas), and an email address.

In some cases — like if there was reported credit card fraud under your name or Social Security number — you may have to contact your local Social Security office to open a my Social Security account.

Once registered, you can:

  • Verify your earnings history;
  • View estimated Social Security benefits based on your past earnings;
  • View Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid over your lifetime,
  • Print your current Social Security Statement; and
  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in some states)

If you’re currently getting benefits, you can:

  • View benefit payment information;
  • Change your address and phone number;
  • Start or change electronic payments;
  • Get a replacement Medicare card;
  • Get a replacement 1099 for tax season; and,
  • Get a benefit verification letter.

When you sign up for a personal my Social Security account, we use a secure authentication process to protect the privacy of your identity and your Social Security Statement information.  In addition to your unique username and password, you can also further protect your my Social Security account with a secure code texted to your phone every time you log in.

Just one more way Social Security strives to provide customers with peace of mind. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

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A Galaxy at Your Fingertips, Not Far Far Away

Distant galaxy

This past winter, Americans of all generations awakened to the newest film in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Many readers probably remember seeing the first Star Wars film in theaters in 1977. The advanced technology used by the Jedi and Sith in a galaxy far, far away seemed light years away.

While we still don’t have interstellar travel, personal robots, or holographic communication, we now use technology like the Internet and smart phones that would have seemed straight out of science fiction in 1977. Continue reading

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A Constant Quest to Improve Our Online Services

Graphic of address bar on computer with cursor arrow, Shooting computer screenWe know you’re busy and need ways to be more productive. Our online services make it possible for you to conduct business with us when and where it’s convenient for you. Our goal is to provide you with world-class service and our online services are a convenient, cost-effective, and secure way for us to better serve you.  Continue reading

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It’s Easy to Get Extra Help with Your Prescription Costs

a photo of an open medicine bottle, with a prescription form underneathIn times like these, every dollar counts. Some people qualify for big savings on their Medicare prescription drug costs and don’t even realize it! In fact, if you receive Medicare, you may be eligible for the Extra Help, which could save you about $4,000 per year on your monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.

To qualify for Extra Help, you must Continue reading

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2015: The Year In Review

2015 was a special year for Social Security – we launched our very first blog, “Social Security Matters.” This blog has helped us cover the issues and concerns that are most important to our beneficiaries and their families. Thank you for reading our blog and joining the conversation about Social Security. We look forward to having more conversations with you in the upcoming year.

While we were partial to storytelling about the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, we invite you to check out our top ten Social Security Blog Posts for 2015:

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

The Medicare open enrollment period ran from October 15 through December 7. This was the time to make changes to your current Medicare coverage for 2016. To get a jump-start on open enrollment season, we offered five helpful tips to make sure you were prepared to Continue reading

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Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

medicare%2050th%20logoRoutines help keep us focused, organized, and even healthy. However, if your health routine doesn’t include preparing for Medicare’s Open Enrollment, now’s the time to kick-start a new healthy habit.

If you have a Medicare health or prescription drug plan, you should review and compare coverage options. The Open Enrollment runs through December 7 and is the time you can make changes to your plan. Even if you’re happy with your current coverage, you might find a better fit for your budget or your health needs. If you miss an Open Enrollment deadline, you’ll most likely have to wait a full year before you can change your plan.

Here are five things every Medicare beneficiary can do to get in the Medicare Open Enrollment routine.

Continue reading

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