Social Security Specialist
Question: I can’t find my Social Security card. How can I get a new one?
Answer: First, consider whether you really need a new card. You only
need to apply for a replacement Social Security card if you don’t know
your Social Security number or if you need to show your card to a new
employer or other entity. If you decide that you do need a card, you
can replace it for free in three easy steps.
Step 1: Complete an Application For a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
Step 2: Show us documents proving your:
—U.S. citizenship or immigration status.
Step 3: Take your completed application and original documents to your
local Social Security office or your local Social Security Card
Center. You’ll receive your replacement card in the mail in about 10
to 15 days.
You can find all the information you need, including what documents
you will need to submit at www.socialsecurity.gov/
Question: How can I calculate my own retirement benefit estimate?
Answer: We suggest you use our Retirement Estimator at
estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record, so
it’s a personalized, instant picture of your future estimated benefit.
Also, you can use it to test different retirement scenarios based on
what age you decide to start benefits.
For example, you can find out your estimated monthly payments if you
retire at age 62, 70, or anytime in between. Visit
Question: How do I earn Social Security credits?
Answer: “Social Security credit” (sometimes referred to as a “quarter
of coverage”) is the measure of your work under the Social Security
program. We use your total covered yearly earnings from both wages
and/or net earnings from self-employment to compute Social Security
credits. The amount needed for a credit increases automatically each
year as average wages increase. For example, in 2014, you earn one
credit for each $1,160 of wages or self-employment income. You can
receive a maximum of four credits for any year. Generally, you need 40
credits to be eligible for retirement benefits. Read our publication,
How You Earn Credits, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME
Question: What information do I need to apply for Supplemental
Security Income (SSI)?
Answer: Here are some of the things we will ask for when you apply for
SSI. Even if you do not have all of the things listed below, apply
anyway. The people in the Social Security office can help you. But
keep in mind that the more information you can provide, the faster the
decision process will be. You will need:
—Your Social Security number;
—Your birth certificate or other proof of your age;
—Information about the home where you live, such as your mortgage or
your lease and landlord’s name;
—Payroll slips, bank statements, insurance policies, burial fund
records, and other information about your income and the things you
—The names, addresses and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and
clinics that you have been to, if you are applying for SSI because you
are disabled or blind; and
—Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status.
If you have a bank or financial institution account, you should have
the account number available so we can deposit your benefits directly
into your account. Learn more about SSI by reading our online
publication, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), available at
Question: My application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based
on my disability was recently denied. Can I appeal the decision?
Answer: Yes, if you disagree with a disability decision made on your
claim, you can appeal it. The steps you can take are explained in our
online publication, Your Right To Question A Decision Made On Your
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim, available at
www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Also, you have the right to be
represented by an attorney or other qualified person of your choice.
You can request your appeal online. Simply visit the online services
page at www.socialsecurity.gov/
a decision” link and follow the simple instructions. Read our online
publication, Your Right To Representation, available at