Social Security Column
By Erin Thompson
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Toledo, OH
We are excited to celebrate a significant milestone for my Social Security: 60 million registrations! We thank each of you who took the time to create a personal my Social Security account – and encouraged others to do the same. We keep improving our online services to make doing business with us easier, faster, and more accessible.
If you are receiving benefits, you can use your personal my Social Security account, to:
- Change your address and direct deposit information.
- Get proof of your benefits.
- Request replacement documents, like a Medicare card.
If you aren’t currently receiving benefits, you can:
- Check your earnings record.
- Get estimates of your future benefits.
- View your Social Security Statement.
In most states, you can also request a replacement Social Security card online, although often you only need to know your Social Security number and you do not need the physical card. See everything you can do with a personal my Social Security account, and open one today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Please help us share this information about my Social Security with friends and family. You can also post it on social media to help us spread the word.
Sign up for Medicare Part B Online
You can sign up for Medicare Part B online! If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and want to enroll in Part B during the Special Enrollment Period, please visit our Medicare web page at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/.
From there, you can enroll in Part B by completing these forms: CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B [Medical Insurance]) and CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information).
You can also fax or mail the CMS-40B and CMS-L564 to your local Social Security office to enroll. You can find the fax number and address for your local office at www.ssa.gov/locator. Please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if you have any questions.
Note: When completing the forms:
- State, “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature.
- Submit one of the following types of secondary evidence by uploading it from a saved document on your computer:
- Income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plan.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Please let your friends and loved ones know about this online, mail, or fax option.
Social Security Supports Small Businesses
The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing small businesses. Running a small business can be a 24-7 endeavor. Managing employees, inventory, scheduling, services, and marketing can be challenging even in normal times.
If you’re a small business owner, or you work for one, our online suite of services can help make your life easier. Our business services allow you to file W-2/W-2Cs online and verify your employees’ names and Social Security numbers against our records.
Our online services at www.ssa.gov/employer will save you valuable time when you need information on filing electronic W-2s and verifying Social Security numbers.
Small business owners can also take advantage of our Business Services Online at www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm. You must register to use this free service, which also offers fast and secure online W-2 filing options to Certified Public Accountants, enrolled agents, and individuals who process W-2s and W-2Cs.
For more information about electronic wage reporting, please read our publication at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10034.pdf.
Understanding Social Security Spouses’ Benefits
Did you know your spouse’s benefit amount could be up to 50% of your spouse’s full retirement age benefit amount? If you qualify for a retirement benefit from your own work history and a spouse’s record, we always pay your own benefit first. You cannot receive spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving their retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses).
If you receive your retirement benefit before your full retirement age, while waiting for your spouse to reach full retirement age, your own retirement portion will be reduced. When you add your spouse’s benefits later, the total retirement and spouse’s benefit together will be no more than 50% of the worker’s amount. You can find out more about this at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/applying7.html.
Knowing about these benefits can help you plan your financial future. Access a wealth of useful information on our retirement portal at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement.
Need a Standardized Benefit Verification Letter? Get It Online
If you need a Benefit Verification letter, sometimes called a “proof of income letter,” we have good news for you! Your Benefit Verification letter is available online when you need proof of Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicare.
In addition to your name, date of birth, and the benefits received, your Benefit Verification letter includes other identifiers to prevent misuse and fraud. This is an added benefit to you as proof of income for loans, housing assistance, mortgage, and other verification purposes.
The same letter is also available if you need proof that you do not receive benefits, or proof that benefits are pending. If you are an individual representative payee, you can use the my Social Security Representative Payee portal to access the Benefit Verification letter online for your beneficiaries.
You can get your Benefit Verification letter anytime using your personal my Social Security account. You can use any device to quickly and efficiently access your Benefit Verification letter. Request it today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.