Social Security: Your questions, our answers
October 21, 2011
Question: How do I update or correct the name on my Social Security card?
Answer: To update or correct the name on your Social Security card:
• Complete an Application for A Social Security Card (Form SS-5), available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf;
• Show us original documents proving your legal name change, identity, and U.S. citizenship (if you have not already established your citizenship with us), or immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen; and
• Take or mail your completed application and original documents to your local Social Security office. Note that we must see originals and cannot use photocopies. We will return any original document you mail to us.
Learn more at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
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Question: How do I report a lost Social Security card?
Answer: You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work (call 1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800-325-0778).
If you think someone is using your number, there are several other actions you should take:
• Contact the Federal Trade Commission online at http://www.ftc.gov/bcdp/edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338);
• File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov;
• Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800-908-4490, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and
• Monitor your credit report.
Question: Do I have to pay income tax on my Social Security benefits?
Answer: It depends. Fewer than one-third of our current beneficiaries pay income taxes on their benefits. You will have to pay Federal income taxes on your benefits if you file an individual Federal income tax return and your total income is more than $25,000. If you file a joint return, you will have to pay income taxes if you and your spouse have total income of more than $32,000.
For more information, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) toll-free at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, http://www.irs.gov/publications/p915/index.html. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the IRS toll-free number, 1-800-829-4059.
Question: Is there a time limit on Social Security disability benefits?
Answer: Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved and you cannot work. We will review your case at regular intervals to make sure you are still disabled. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, we will convert those benefits to retirement benefits.
Question: How much will I receive if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
Answer: The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live and how much income you have. The maximum SSI payment varies nationwide. The maximum Federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $674 a month and $1,011 a month for an eligible couple. However, many States add money to the basic payment. For more information, go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.
kathy petersen is a public affairs specialist for social security, denver region. you can write her c/o social security administration, 605 main, suite 201, rapid city, sd, 57701 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. next week kathy warns readers to beware of “tricks” this halloween season.