Social Security: Be in the know before you go
We’re in the dead of winter. In many areas of the country, that means that we could be in for some rough weather. When severe weather strikes, parents of young children are well aware that they need to check for school closings as they prepare for the day. But sometimes inclement weather can be severe enough to close down government buildings and offices as well – including Social Security.
If the weather outside is frightful, you should check our Web site before making a trip to a Social Security office. The place to go to find out about emergency office closings is: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency.
Social Security’s office closings and emergency page provides information on specific offices that are closed due to weather and emergencies, as well as reminders about upcoming Federal holidays during which government offices are closed.
The Web site also offers a link to a comprehensive list of Federal holidays throughout the year.
To the right side of the page, you’ll find helpful resources from other government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service. They can help you to prepare for weather emergencies before they happen.
We also provide information about alternatives to visiting an office, helpful even when offices are open. For example, many of our most popular services are available online at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Find out what types of benefits you may be eligible for by using our benefits eligibility screening tool and then apply online. If you are already getting benefits, you can use our Web site to sign up for direct deposit so that your payments won’t be interrupted during weather emergencies. You can learn about these and other services available on our secure Web site by visiting our Online Services page at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.
If you’d like to be alerted to office closings, that’s easy to do. Just visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency and subscribe to the page by selecting the “Get e-mail updates” link next to the red envelope. Then you’ll get an e-mail alert any time there is a change, such as an office closing.
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 explains how to earn more money with Supplemental Security Income.