October 29, 2012


By Cristina Vital
Rock Island Social Security office


Are you looking to replace your Social Security card just because you don’t have it? Then rest assured: you really don’t need to replace it. What’s most important is that you remember your Social Security number.

Remember, during your formal education, when you used to memorize passages from a book, or answers for a test? In the same way, you should memorize your Social Security number. Knowing your Social Security number is important when it comes to work, taxes, banking, and other types of business. Treat your number as confidential information and keep it protected. Memorizing your number means you don’t need to carry your Social Security card with you unless you need to show it to your employer. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.

If you really do need to get a replacement card, it’s easy to apply for a new one. Simply complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and show us original documents proving your U.S. citizenship or immigration status, age, and identity. The application includes examples of documents you may need; you can find the application at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. Then, take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office. We will mail your Social Security card to you.

If your card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement for free. However, with some exceptions, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime.

Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.


Let the shopping season begin!

The day after Thanksgiving has virtually become a holiday of its own. “Black Friday” is the busiest shopping day of the year, with people lining up at midnight for door-busting deals as they begin the busy holiday shopping season.

And the Monday after that has become a virtual holiday, so to speak. “Cyber Monday” is the day web-savvy people search for deals on the Internet.

But, there is more than one way to find value on the Internet. For example, Social Security offers many online services to the general public — and they are free! Not only that, but doing business online with Social Security will save you time and money. And it’s so easy to do. Here are some of the most popular services you’ll find at www.socialsecurity.gov.

1. The online Social Security Statement is a hot new service that is a big hit with the millions of people who’ve used it since its launch last May. Your online Statement provides you with a record of your past earnings, and it uses those earnings along with projected earnings for future years to give you accurate estimates of future Social Security benefits. Get your Statement at www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement.

2. The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Just key in some basic information and the Estimator will use information on your Social Security record, along with what you input, to give you a benefit estimate on the spot. You even can experiment with different scenarios, such as changing your future earnings and retirement date. Check it out in English at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator or in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov/calculador.

3. The online Retirement Application is the most convenient way to apply for Social Security retirement benefits. You can apply from the comfort of your home — it’s fast, easy, and secure. It’s so easy, in fact, that it can take you as little as 15 minutes to apply online. In most cases, after your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no docu-mentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. When you’re ready to retire, apply at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

4. Business Services Online is our one-stop shop for small business owners. The site allows organizations and authorized individuals to conduct business with and submit confidential information to Social Security. Employers can use it to file W-2s for their employees the fast, convenient, and paperless way — online. Visit Business Services Online at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso.

In the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Social Security’s online services continuously receive the highest ratings in both the public and private sectors, year after year.

To learn more about all you can do on Cyber Monday, or any day, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.


November 11 is more than just a national holiday; Veterans Day is a time to honor the men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom. We at Social Security ask you to join us in saluting the men and women of the armed forces. Be sure to say “thank you” to a veteran on this important day.

For those who return home with injuries, it will be our turn to help them. If you know any wounded veterans, please let them know about Social Security’s Wounded Warriors website. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

The Wounded Warriors website answers a number of commonly asked questions, and shares other useful information about disability benefits, including how veterans can receive expedited processing of disability claims. It is important to note that benefits available through Social Security are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and require a separate application.

The expedited process is used for military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

Even active duty military who continue to receive pay while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they are unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

A person cannot receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit. However, the work activity is the controlling factor and not the amount of pay the person receives or military duty status. Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

We at Social Security thank all veterans and members of the armed services for all that they do — not only on Veterans Day, but every day of the year.