Getting Help In Person
You can apply for any type of benefit, get forms and information, and get help with Social Security issues in person at one of the more than 1,200 SSA field offices.
Social Security offices shut down in March 2020 and for most of the pandemic provided in-person service by appointment only and just for select situations involving urgent benefit issues or Social Security numbers.
While walk-in service resumed April 7, Social Security recommends scheduling your visit in advance. If you visit a field office without an appointment, the SSA says to expect long lines, especially at typically busy times, like Mondays, the day after a federal holiday and during the first week of the month.
A small number of field offices may continue to provide appointment-only service due to construction, inability to accommodate people waiting outside the office or other reasons. Check Social Security’s office closings and emergencies page for an up-to-date list.
Keep in mind
- You must complete a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms before entering a Social Security office and wear a mask during your visit.
- You may be asked to wait outside due to limited office space, so plan for the weather.
- If you need help with your visit because of a language barrier, disability or other issue, you may bring one adult for assistance. Otherwise, the SSA asks that you come alone .
Bureau Of Disability Determination Services
- Social Security Disability Insurance
Applying for Benefits
- Visit the SSA website at www.ssa.gov to apply online.
- Contact SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 .
- If you think you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or www.ssa.gov to file a claim or for more information.
- If you have already filed a disability claim with Social Security, you may contact DDS at 1-800-842-8320 about the processing of your claim.
What Kind Of Documentation Do I Need To Bring
The documentation that you need to bring along varies depending on what it is you are trying to do. At a minimum, you will need some form of identification. This might be a drivers license, U.S. Passport, or state-issued non-drivers identification card. You might also need your current Social Security card and even your birth certificate. It is usually best to take everything you can even if you are not sure whether you need it. It is better to carry documentation that is not needed than to arrive without the proper documentation.
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What Is A Social Security Benefit Verification Letter
The Benefit Verification letter, sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter,” serves as proof of your retirement, disability, Supplemental Security Income , or Medicare benefits. You may use your letter for loans, housing assistance, mortgage, and for other income verification purposes. You can also use it to prove that you don’t receive benefits, have applied for benefits, or that you have never received Social Security benefits or SSI.
In addition to name, date of birth, and the benefits received, the Benefit Verification letter includes other identifiers to prevent misuse and fraud.
Important Information For Brooklyn Queens The Bronx And Manhattan Residents:
In order to enhance public service and strengthen the integrity of the Social Security Number, the Social Security Administration opened the Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan Social Security Card Centers. The Centers are located at:
- 154 Pierrepont Street, Sixth Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201
- 155-10 Jamaica Avenue, Second Floor, Jamaica, NY 11432
- 820 Concourse Village West, Second Floor, Bronx, NY 10451
- 123 William Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10038
These are the only Social Security Offices in New York where residents of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan – both U.S. citizens and non-citizens – can apply for an original Social Security Number or for a replacement card.
Please send us any you have about our web site.
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Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries
You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.
What Happens At The Dds
Applications for SSDI and SSI are filed at local Social Security Administration offices. If the case meets the work credit or income/asset criteria , the case is sent to the DDS for development of the medical evidence and for a medical determination of disability. A disability adjudicator is assigned the case and begins development by requesting all medical and non-medical evidence listed by the applicant. As the information is received, the disability specialists, who have doctors available for consultation, review the evidence and analyze it against the Social Security Disability Regulations. If the regulations are not met, a function by function assessment is prepared. Age, education, and past work experience are also considered in the disability decision. After a decision is made, the case file is returned to the Social Security Administration office.
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Where To Report Changes Or Provide Requested Information:
You may report changes to SSA by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting your local SSA office in person.
You may report changes to SSP by calling toll free at 1-855-488-0541 OR by fax at: 518-486-3459 OR by email at: OR by regular mail at:
NYS OTDA PO Box 1740 Albany, NY 12201
NOTE: If you receive Social Security Retirement, Survivorâs, or Disability payments and also receive SSP benefits, SSA does not share your federal benefit information or any changes, including address or living arrangement, with SSP and you must report changes directly to SSP.
Using Our Automated Telephone Services
Services for all beneficiaries
- Request a benefit verification letter
- Ask for a form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, to request a replacement tax summary
Services for Medicare beneficiaries only
- Request a replacement Medicare Card
- Request a form SSA-1020 to apply for help with Medicare prescription drug costs
Services for people who have applied for benefits
- Ask to receive a claim status
Services everyone can use
- Find the address of your local Social Security office
- Request a form SS-5,Application for a Social Security Card, to:
- apply for an original Social Security card or a replacement card if yours was lost or stolen,
- request a name change on your card, or
- update or correct other information on your Social Security number record.
You can listen to informational messages on the following subjects:
- Payment delivery dates
- Best times to call our 800 number
- Social Security Internet address and services
- Supplemental Security Income
- Non-receipt of your Social Security benefit
- Representative payee
Services for Social Security Benefits Only
- Change address and/or phone number
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What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation
You should be aware of another type of representation called .
Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minors who are applying for or receiving Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Special Veterans Benefits the option to choose up to three people in advance who could serve as their representative payee, if the need arises.
In the event that you can no longer manage your benefits, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing that someone you trust may be appointed to manage your benefits for you. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees. We must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.
You can submit and update your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, contacting us by telephone at 1-800-772-1213 , or at .
What Is A Social Security Overpayment
If the Social Security Administration finds that you have gotten too much money in your Social Security benefit, they will send you a Notice of Overpayment. Social Security overpayments can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it is because you didnt report something that could affect your eligibility, like how much you worked despite your disability, and sometimes it is for reasons only Social Security would know about.
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Lifeline Free Monthly Wireless Service
If you qualify for government assistance, like SSI, you may be eligible for Lifeline service. This federal benefits program gives low-income consumers free or massively discounted communication services. Lifeline helps subsidize the cost of wireless cell phones and internet services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.
Ally is responsible for researching, copywriting, and editing content at StandUp Wireless. She has extensive experience contributing to advertising and marketing campaigns for Tech Data, Bright House Networks, TV, telecom, internet, home security, cybersecurity, and retail. As a freelance author, Ally has penned six celebrity biographies for young readers.
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Contact The Massachusetts State Supplement Program
You can contact the State Supplement Program by phone, fax, or mail. Business hours for the SSP Client Assistance Line are from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If you have questions about your federal Social Security benefits , you must contact the Social Security Administration directly by phone at 772-1213.
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Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
- Those who are currently retired
- To people with disabilities
- To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits
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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
For Individuals Who Only Receive Ssp Benefits:
If you receive only SSP benefits, you will report your changes directly to NYS SSP.
Examples of changes that must be reported include, but are not limited to:
- Change of residence and/or mailing address
- Improvement of a disability
- Income or employment changes
- Change in countable resources that exceed $2000 for an individual, or $3000 for an SSI/SSP couple
- Change in living arrangement or household composition, including the death of a household member or changes to who is living in the household. Please note that a change in who is in the household must be reported even if your address has not changed.
The changes listed above must be reported to NYS SSP within ten calendar days of the date of the change.
You should also tell NYS SSP about the following changes as soon as you know about them:
- Changes in bank account information
- Changes in your payee
- Changes in who you wish to allow to receive information about your benefits
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The Best Way To Fix A Social Security Overpayment Letter
Social Security Overpayment letters are becoming more common.
For those who depend on Social Security payments, receiving a Notice of Overpayment is no fun. These notification letters will often show up after a change in income or family status and generally allege that the Social Security Administration has paid you too much money. In this letter they offer you a 30 day window to repay the benefits.
This leaves many shaken who count on this income to buy their groceries or some other necessity. Fortunately, the Administration is often incorrect in their calculations.
However, there is still a process to follow if you receive one of these letters. Unless otherwise stated, you have three options.
- Pay the overpayment within 30 days
- Appeal their determination within 60 days
- Request a waiver
The option you choose depends on your circumstances. Personally, Ive seen too many bad calculations by the Social Security Administration to ever recommend just repaying the amount requested. In my opinion, an appeal should always be the first step.
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When Both Appeal And Waiver Requests Are Denied
SSA will try to recover the overpayment from you. It usually does this by reducing the amount you get each month.
If you get SSI, SSA can lower your benefits by up to 10% to recover the overpayment. The current SSI benefit is $783 per month. The most SSA could lower your benefit by is $78.30 per month. If you get SSDI, SSA will lower your monthly benefit to $0 until the overpayment has been paid back.
SSA will ask you to repay the overpayment within 30 days. If you cannot afford to pay the full amount all at once, you can ask SSA to pay back the overpayment in installments.
If you do not repay the overpayment, SSA may do one or more of these:
Garnish your wages
Reduce the overpayment amount from your tax refund
Reduce future SSA benefits may you receive, including retirement benefits
Report your nonpayment to credit bureaus
You can ask SSA for a compromise or change in repayment rate.
Asking for a compromise means asking to pay SSA less than the full amount of the overpayment. SSA will not compromise the overpayment if you still have the money that was overpaid, or they found you were at fault in causing the overpayment. You can make an offer of compromise in writing and give it to your SSA office.
Asking for a change in repayment rate means asking SSA to collect the full overpayment but in smaller amounts at a time. You can ask for a change even if you agree that you were overpaid and with the amount of the overpayment.
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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
Social Security Disability Benefits: An Overview
The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits under two programs:
Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI provides disability benefits to blind or disabled individuals who are insured based on federal insurance contributions paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. Certain family members can also receive benefits based on a workers contributions.Supplemental Security Income SSI provides benefits to individuals who are disabled, blind or elderly, with limited income and resources, including children under age 18, who are disabled, blind or elderly.
The medical requirements that determine who is eligible for disability payments are the same under both programs. Under the Social Security system, disability payments are based on inability to work. Individuals are considered disabled if they are unable to do any kind of work and their disabilities are expected to last for at least twelve months or result in death.
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How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
Bureau Of Medical Disability Information Services
This bureau is responsible for the administrative oversight and management of all Information Technology functions to include the Local Area Network, Wide Area Network, servers, workstations, printers, iSeries, Helpdesk, Legacy System Application, application development, web publishing, systems security, access control, and all other overall system related tasks in the support of the processing of disability cases.
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