Social Security: Your questions, our answers | TSLN.com

Social Security: Your questions, our answers

Kathy Petersen

Question: I understand that by 2013 I will not be able to continue receiving my Social Security payments by paper check. What are the benefits of using direct deposit?

Answer: The benefits of using direct deposit are:

• It’s safe;

• It’s secure;

• It’s convenient;

• There are no checks to be lost;

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• You are in control of your money; and

• You will get your benefits on time, even if you’re out of town, sick, or unable to get to the bank.

You choose the account where your Social Security payment is deposited. If you don’t have a bank account, you can use the Direct Express prepaid debit card to receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other Federal benefit payments. With this card, you can make purchases, pay bills, and get cash at thousands of locations nationwide. Learn more about direct deposit and Direct Express at http://www.godirect.gov.

Question: What is a disability trial work period?

Answer: The “trial work period” allows Social Security disability beneficiaries to test their ability to work for at least nine months without losing benefits. During the trial work period, you can receive full benefits no matter how much you earn, as long as you remain disabled and you report your work activity. The trial work period continues until you have completed nine trial work months within a 60-month period. You can find more information about available work incentives in our publication “Working While Disabled – How We Can Help” at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10095.html.

Question: How do I report a change of address if I’m on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Answer: You must report any change of address by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting a local office within 10 days after the month the change occurs. You cannot complete a change of address online because we must obtain more specific information about the change in your living arrangement. Failure to report or filing false reports could result in a fine, imprisonment, or both. Even if you receive your benefits by direct deposit, you need to report your new address to Social Security so that you can continue to receive mail from Social Security when necessary. To learn more about SSI reporting responsibilities, read the publication “What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)” at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11011.html.

Question: Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) taxable?

Answer: No. SSI payments are not subject to Federal taxes so you will not receive an annual form SSA-1099. However, if you also receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, those payments may be subject to income taxes. Learn more about SSI by reading the publication “What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)” at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11011.html.

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 kathy.petersen@ssa.gov. find out how to get a replacement ssa 1099 form next week.

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