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Experts Answer Your Social Security Questions

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

Answer: 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:

Change your address or telephone number;

Start or change your direct deposit;

Get a replacement Medicare card; and

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.

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

Answer: Yes, we do. You can find them at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Some of the publications available include What You Can Do Online, How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies, Apply Online for Social Security Benefits, and Your Social Security Card and Number. You can listen now at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Question: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits and I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes on my income?

Answer: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically credits the new earnings and, if your new earnings are higher than in any earlier year used to calculate your current benefit, your monthly benefit could increase. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Question: Do Members of Congress have to pay into Social Security?

Answer: Yes, they do. Members of Congress, the President and Vice President, federal judges, and most political appointees, have paid taxes into the Social Security program since January 1984. They pay into the system just like everyone else, no matter how long they have been in office. Learn more about Social Security benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Question: How can I get a copy of my Social Security Statement?

Answer: You can get your personal Social Security Statement online by using your my Social Security account. If you don’t yet have an account, you can easily create one. Your online Statement gives you secure and convenient access to your earnings records. It also shows estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits you and your family may be eligible for.

To set up or use your account to get your online Social Security Statement, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

We also mail Statements to workers attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and older three months prior to their birthday if they don’t receive Social Security benefits and don’t have a my Social Security account.

Question: I’m trying to figure out how much I need to save for my retirement. Does the government offer any help with financial education?

Answer: Yes. For starters, you may want to find out what you can expect from Social Security with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission has a website that can help you with the basics of financial education: www.mymoney.gov. Finally, you’ll want to check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which offers educational information on a number of financial matters, including mortgages, credit cards, retirement, and other big decisions. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.consumerfinance.gov.

Question: How do I change my citizenship status on Social Security’s records?

Answer: To change your citizenship status shown in Social Security records:

Complete an application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5), which you can find online at www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html; and Provide documents proving your:

New or revised citizenship status (We can only accept certain documents as proof of citizenship. These include your U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, or a Certificate of Citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current immigration documents);

Age; and

Identity.

Next, take (or mail) your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Question: I heard there is a Social Security video available in American Sign Language. Where can I find it?

Answer: Yes, it’s true. The video is called “Social Security, SSI and Medicare: What You Need to Know About These Vital Programs.” The video is available in American Sign Language and it presents important information about our programs.

You can watch the video now at www.socialsecurity.gov/

multimedia/video/asl. The video is a part of our larger collection of on-demand videos and webinars available at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars and at www.YouTube.com.

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