August 27, 2013

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY Rock Island, Illinois Office

By Cristina Vital
Rock Island Social Security office


Summertime is over, and it is time to face the fall. Hopefully, your family has enjoyed a nice vacation, and you have had your share of fun in the sun. You may even reminisce about the popular song, “See You in September,” which was written by Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards and made memorable by The Happenings in 1966.

As children, teenagers, and young adults return to school, now is a good time for you to look at the books, too — whether that means starting your retirement planning, making sure your retirement plans are on track, or taking the plunge and applying for Social Security retirement benefits.

However, just because you have Social Security business and retirement matters to tend to does not mean you need to fight the traffic and trudge into a busy government office. We do not need to see you (in person) in September. That is because whether you are working on your retirement planning or ready to retire, you can do everything from the comfort of your home or office computer at

If you have been to our website before, you will notice that the new homepage is even better. We have revised the homepage and made it clearer and easier to use. You will now find what you want, without the need to read many links.

If you are starting to think about a retirement that is in the far-off future, a good place to begin is with Social Security’s Benefits Planners at You can use the planners to help you understand your Social Security protection, as you plan your financial future. In fact, you can learn about survivors and disability benefits, as well as retirement benefits. No matter how new you may be to the working world, it is never too early to begin planning for a sound financial future.

For those of you with more years of work under your belt, get a more precise look at what your benefits will be with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at The Estimator makes use of your reported wages from past years and projects your current earnings into the future to give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can change the variables, such as date of retirement and future earnings estimates, to see what you can expect in different scenarios.

If you are ready to say goodbye to the daily grind of working, and you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, it’s exciting to know that you can apply from the comfort of your home or office in as little as 15 minutes. Once you complete the online application for benefits, in most cases, that is all there is to it. No papers to sign or documents to provide. Try it when you are ready to retire at

You have better things to do in September than to come see us. Whether you are just beginning your retirement plans, making sure your long-term plans are on track, or you are ready to retire, we do not need to see you in September. Take advantage of our new, easy-to-use website at


During National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, people across the country will join in recognizing the many contributions of Hispanic Americans, and in celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture.

For years, Social Security’s website has been a leader in providing information and services in Spanish. Find out what we have to offer by visiting

This year, we launched a brand new mobile-friendly site that offers the same great service on your mobile device when you’re on the run. Try it out on your smartphone at There, you can learn all about our programs and online services, and view more than 100 Spanish public information pamphlets, leaflets, and fact sheets.

Computer and tablet users can do even more at In addition to all the information and materials we offer in Spanish, you also can take advantage of several of our popular online services in Spanish. One of the best features of the site is the Spanish-language Retirement Estimator located at The Retirement Estimator allows visitors to receive an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits. And what’s better, visitors can try out different scenarios to see how their future benefits would change, like changing future wage estimates or retirement dates. It is a great tool for planning your financial future.

When you are ready to retire, you can apply online for retirement benefits … all in Spanish … and in as little as 15 minutes! Once you complete the online application for benefits, in most cases, that’s all there is to it. No papers to sign or documents to provide. Give it a try when you’re ready to retire at

If you need to visit an office and speak with someone in Spanish, we have interpreter services available in the event that there is not a Spanish-speaking representative working in the office. To learn about our interpreter services, visit

In addition, our national toll-free number (1-800-772-1213) provides automated prompts in Spanish for all callers. Toward the beginning of the call, you will be asked to continue in English or Spanish; it’s as easy as that to get service in the language with which you’re most comfortable. So, whether it is on a computer, a mobile device, through face-to-face office visits, or over our national 800 number, Social Security remains committed to providing quality service to an increasingly more diverse American public. This National Hispanic Heritage Month, visit on your computer, tablet, or mobile device to learn about Social Security.