September 23, 2022

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Rock Island, Illinois Office

By Cristina Vital
Social Security Manager
Rock Island Social Security Office

NATIONAL SAVINGS DAY REMINDS US TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This year, October 12th is National Savings Day. This day serves as an important reminder to plan for your financial future.

Social Security is a vital part of any financial plan.  We have online tools to help you understand your potential Social Security benefits and how they fit into your financial future.

You should periodically review your Social Security Statement using your personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. Your Statement is an easy-to-read summary of the estimated benefits you and your family could receive, including potential retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

Our Plan for Retirement tool in your personal my Social Security account allows you to check various benefit estimate scenarios.  You can compare the effect different future earnings and retirement benefit start dates have on your future benefit amount.

Please let friends and family know they can take steps to improve their financial knowledge by signing in to their secure my Social Security account. If they don’t have an account, they can easily create one at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO REPORT LIFE CHANGES TO US WHEN YOU RECEIVE SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) REPORT

Did you know that certain life changes can affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments?  Sometimes your circumstances may change after you apply for or begin to receive SSI.  When that happens, it’s important for you to tell us about these changes. This will ensure that you receive the benefits to which you’re eligible.

Here are some common changes you must report if you have applied for or receive SSI:

  • Changes in income, wages, or self-employment income;
  • Starting, stopping, or changing jobs;
  • Changing your address or persons moving in or out of the household;
  • Changes in marital status (including any same-sex relationships);
  • Having more than $2,000 if you are single or $3,000 if you are married in resources that you can cash in, sell, or use to pay for food and shelter; and
  • Changes in resources, including money in financial accounts and buying or selling extra vehicles, stocks, investments, or property.

For a complete list of reporting responsibilities for all our programs, please read our publication, What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11011.pdf.

How to Report Changes in Wages

You can conveniently report your wages using our:

  • Free SSA Mobile Wage Reporting app for smartphones.
  • Online Wage Reporting Tool using your personal my Social Security account. If you don’t have an account, create one today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Be sure to sign up for monthly SSI wage reporting emails or text reminders, so you never forget.

Other options include speaking with a representative by calling toll free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visiting or writing your local Social Security Office.

Report Changes in a Timely Manner

You must report a change within 10 days after the month it happens. You should report a change even if you’re late. Failure to report timely may cause you to:

  • Receive less than you should and take longer to receive the correct amount;
  • Receive more than you should and have to pay it back;
  • Have a penalty deducted from your SSI payment; or
  • Lose SSI for not reporting information that we use to determine whether you are still eligible for SSI.

Securing your today and tomorrow starts with being informed. Please share this information with your friends and family—and post it on social media.

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Question:

Is it illegal to laminate your Social Security card?

Answer:

No, it is not illegal, but we discourage it. It’s best not to laminate your card. Laminated cards make it difficult — sometimes even impossible — to detect important security features and an employer may refuse to accept them. The Social Security Act requires the Commissioner of Social Security to issue cards that cannot be counterfeited. We incorporate many features that protect the card’s integrity. They include highly specialized paper and printing techniques, some of which are invisible to the naked eye. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you. Learn more at www.ssa.gov.

PROTECTING OUR LOVED ONES FROM ELDER ABUSE

Are you concerned about protecting your older relatives and friends from elder abuse? The pandemic highlighted the disproportionate impact of tragedy on underserved communities, including older adults, who face high rates of elder abuse, fraud, and nursing homes deaths.

It’s important to remember that elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or financial status.  We are committed to helping and preventing further victimization – especially in underserved communities.

Fraud

A recent Federal Bureau of Investigation report showed that elder fraud has increased.  Older adults in the United States reported over $1.6 billion in losses in 2021.  This includes victims of COVID-related scams. Older adults in the U.S, also lose nearly 25 times more money to scammers than other groups –an estimated $113.7 billion a year!

Reporting fraud can be difficult and older adults tend to underreport– especially when money is lost.  Many older Americans are unsure about the reporting process or feel too embarrassed to report.  Understaffed Adult Protective Services offices can also cause long processing times and underreporting.

We work hard to protect beneficiaries from Social Security and government imposter scams.  You can learn more about protecting your loved ones at blog.ssa.gov/slam-the-scam-how-to-spot-government-imposters and our Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams webpage at www.ssa.gov/scam.

Please share these important resources with your family and friends.

Filed Under: Finance, Retirement

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