Script (Full Version)

Luis:

Hi! I’m Luis Alicea from the Social Security Administration.

Zomarie:
And I’m Zomarie Santiago, also from the Social Security Administration.

Luis:
Like many of you, I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household, and while I speak English, I often think in Spanish.

Luis:

And I’m happy to tell you that Social Security has made some real strides in communicating with the Spanish-speaking public.

Luis:

Did you know that Social Security has a Spanish language version of its website?

Take a look at this. You can switch from the English version of our website to our Spanish version by selecting the Espanol link, located at the top of our homepage. It’s pretty simple!

Or, you can also get there by typing segurosocial.gov, right into your browser.

I’m here to let you know that not only can you do a lot of business online with Social Security –you can do it in Spanish.

Zomarie:

 

Please note that whether you are sending information in Spanish or English, your privacy is very important to Social Security. We have taken every precaution to make sure your information is protected.

Now, here are a few things I bet you’ll find useful.

Want to know how much Social Security you can expect to get when you retire? You can use the Retirement Estimator.

Are you ready to retire? You can apply for your benefits online.

Still working but are ready to apply for Medicare?  You can do that online too. 

Maybe you need to apply for extra help with the cost of your prescriptions? You can do that too! 

All in Spanish!

You can find links to all the applications we’ll be talking about at segurosocial.gov 

Luis:

We’re going to take a closer look at the retirement estimator, and the Retirement and Medicare applications that you can find in Spanish on segurosocial.gov.

Zomarie:
As we move along, if you have any questions about anything -- the Spanish language website, the Retirement Estimator, the application for retirement or Medicare only, or getting extra help with the cost of prescription drugs – don’t wait to ask! 

If you have questions, you can send them to us now, or at any point during this broadcast.

Luis:

Just submit your questions by simply clicking on the bubble above my head.

Zomarie:

We’ll  also be taking your questions from Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Zomarie:

Now, we won’t be able to answer personal questions about your earnings, or any claims you may have filed with Social Security.

But we will try to answer your questions about the applications we’ll be introducing to you at the end of this broadcast.

I also encourage you to fill out our brief survey.

It’ll help us serve you better in future presentations.

You’ll find the survey link located next to the bubble over my head. Just click on that link to access the survey.

Luis:

By now, some of you have already used or at least heard about the Spanish retirement estimator.

Luis

The retirement estimator is a great way to get a good idea about how much money you could get from Social Security when you retire.

Luis:

That estimate is based on your actual work record.  You can use the retirement estimator if you have enough Social Security credits at this time to qualify for benefits.

The Retirement Estimator will produce an immediate, personalized retirement estimate and also let you look at different scenarios.

 

Not everyone can use the retirement estimator. Generally, you CANNOT use it if you are

  • already getting benefits on your own Social Security record, or you’re age 62 or older and getting benefits on someone else’s  record;
  • waiting for a decision about your application for benefits or Medicare; or
  • eligible for a pension for work not covered by Social Security, like some Federal, State and local government employment.

 

To begin, you will be asked to enter identifying information such as your name, social security number, birth date and your earnings last year.

If you worked last year, we assume that you will continue to work and make about the same amount that you entered for last year’s earnings. This will give you a good idea of what to expect in retirement. 

You will also be able to change the age you expect to stop work or adjust your anticipated future earnings to see how those changes affect your benefit.

Zomarie:

One nice thing about the retirement estimator is you put in the information and it gives you an answer right away! 

Zomarie:

Let’s hear from a couple of  Social Security employees about the Spanish Retirement Estimator  

Interviewee:

Janie, I think that people who use the Retirement Estimator will find that it’s easy to use.

Yes, you’re right. If someone wishes to get a quick estimate for his retirement, all he has to do is to enter his Social Security number and certain basic information.

Right. Once the person enters the information, he’ll be able to immediately see an estimate of the Social Security retirement benefits.

Look, he can see how much he’ll get at 62 years of age, at full retirement age, and even at age 70.

This is great, especially being able to plan for retirement trying different ages and different amounts of income to be able to decide when he should apply for the payments from Social Security.

Exactly, you see the person can use the Retirement Estimator to see how much he can receive at age 63, 64, 65, and so on.

Zomarie:

Just a reminder…if you haven’t submitted your questions yet, now’s the time to do it.

Luis:

So, when you are ready to apply for retirement benefits, you don’t need to visit a Social Security office--you can do it quickly and easily on your home or office computer. 

Or, if you are age 65, but not yet ready to retire, you can apply for Medicare only – and again, you can do that online!

Zomarie:
If you aren’t sure about getting started on the computer, ask your children or grandchildren to help you.

Interviewee:
My grandmother we always helped her to fill out the forms in English, and also find information in English. Explain what questions she needs to answer about whether she wrote the right thing on the forms.

But now, having the new website in our language, in Spanish, not only can I help my grandmother, I can help a lot of people that I know in the Latino community. Visit us at segurosocial.gov to see what I’m talking about.

 

Luis:

We’ve heard why people like being able to do business with Social Security online and in their own language.

But when it comes to something as important as applying for retirement or Medicare, I bet you’re wondering how it works.

 

When you get on the application, you’ll go through a series of screens that will ask you questions about yourself, your family, and your work. We also provide informational videos if you have questions while completing the application.

And you don’t have to complete it all in one sitting.

If you need to take a break, you can stop and return to the application later without losing the information you already entered.

Once you’ve answered all of the questions, select “Sign Now”.

Your application will be sent electronically to Social Security.

If it turns out we need more information from you, we’ll contact you by phone.

Interviewee:

When I was part of the team that designed the Internet application for Social Security benefits, I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to translate it to Spanish. I was very enthusiastic about this project.

One of the things that attracted me was knowing that I’d be helping to make the Social Security Internet services more accessible for Spanish-speaking people, the easiest way to apply through the Internet and now can be done in Spanish.
 

Zomarie:

Social Security wants to reach people who need extra help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs.

To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

Zomarie:

If you know someone having difficulty paying for their Medicare prescription drugs, - a relative, friend or neighbor – tell them they can go online and apply for Extra Help.

Just tell them to go to our website: segurosocial.gov!

There they can find everything in Spanish, and find out if they are eligible for help with their prescription drugs.

And if they don’t know how to get started, a loved one may be able to help.

Luis:
We’ve been talking about all these online applications, but while going online is easy and convenient, you have other options. 

You can call 1-800-772-1213,  and we will assist you in Spanish.

Or, you can come into a Social Security office.

Zomarie:

 Ok Luis, it’s almost time to take the public’s questions.

 

But before we do that, what do you think about doing a recap of what we discussed?

Luis:

Good idea! We showed you how everyone can get their information from SeguroSocial in Spanish.

We shared with you how you can get your retirement estimate from the Spanish Retirement Estimator.

Zomarie:
We gave you a brief overview of the Spanish retirement and Medicare application and the Spanish Extra Help with the Medicare Prescription drug plan application.

 

Zomarie:

Ok, now it’s time to take your questions.

Again, to submit a question, click on the bubble icon above this screen and follow the directions.

And if you haven’t submitted your questions yet, you still have time to do it!

Luis (start of live Q+A):

 

Ok, Zomarie, what is our first question?

Zomarie:
Do I have to send my documents through the mail before completing the
Internet application?

Luis:
No, you don’t have to send any type of document through the mail, nor do you have to do anything else. You simply complete the application and once you complete the application, if we need anything else then we’ll contact you.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
I worked in the United States but I moved to another country, can I apply for Social Security benefits through the Internet, even though it says outside the United States?

Luis:
Yes, you can. All you have to do is to go to segurosocial.gov and click on the tab that says “Retirement” and complete the application.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
I’m a veteran. Can I apply for Social Security Benefits through the Internet?

Luis:
Definitely. You can apply for Social Security benefits through the Internet, even if you’re a veteran.

Zomarie:
I’m going to be 62 years old. Can I get an estimate of the amount of what my benefits will be when I turn 62?

Luis:
This is a good question. And it is important that people get an estimate before they complete the application so that they have an idea of how much they will receive, more or less. So when you want to get an estimate, all you have to do is to go to segurosocial.gov and then click where it says “Retirement Estimator” do a click there and you can see the program that will give you an estimate.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
I answered all of the questions in the Internet application, but I don’t understand how to finish them. What am I missing?

Luis:
You’re asking, after you’ve answered all of the questions?

Zomarie:
Yes.

Luis:
OK. If you’ve answered all the questions, all you have to do is a click where it says “Sign Now."

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
OK. Once you’ve signed, click on that button and you’re done; you don’t have to do anything else.

Zomarie:
OK. Well, Luis, that’s easy.

Luis:
Easy!

Zomarie:
When can I sign up for Medicare coverage?

Luis:
Well, for Medicare coverage, we have to remember that the age to sign up for it is at 65.

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
Now, you can sign up at 64 and 9 months.

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
OK. We recommend that you sign up at least three months before you turn 65 years old.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
I submitted an online application, but I changed my mind. Can I retract the application?

Luis:
This is something that may happen to some people. After completing the application, you may suddenly realize that you’d rather wait a little more or that it wasn’t the right time to apply for benefits. Unfortunately, you cannot cancel the application. It cannot be done through the Internet. You’ll have to go the local Social Security Office. The office that is processing your application can be found on the last page that we suggested that you print. There you’ll find the name, address, and telephone number of the office. If for some reason you don’t have this page, You can go to segurosocial.gov and at the bottom of the page on the left hand it says "Office Locator.”

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
You click on that button, enter your zip code and immediately you get the address and telephone number of the office.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
I’ve been told about the Extra Help with the Medicare prescription drug plans. How can I apply for this Extra Help?

Luis:
You can apply for the Extra Help by visiting segurosocial.gov and then clicking where it says “Medicare” and then doing a click where it says “Get Extra Help with Medicare prescription drugs costs” that is on the right hand of the screen.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
About how long does it take to complete the online benefits application?

Luis:
It doesn’t take long at all. Basically, what we have proved is that is takes perhaps about 15 minutes. It’s so easy!

Zomarie:
Oh, wow!

Zomarie:
I’m turning 62 in march, how soon should I apply online for the Social Security benefits?

Luis:
Once again, if you wish to start receiving benefits at 62, our recommendation is that you apply for the benefits at 61 and nine months. In other words, three months before you turn 62 years old.

Zomarie:
OK

Zomarie:
Luis while we wait for more questions, why don’t you talk about our survey?

Luis:
Yes, we have a survey that is important that you fill out. By doing so, we’ll know what content we should have for another webinar, in the future. This way we’ll be able to help you to better understand how to apply for the benefits that the Social Security Administration administers.

Zomarie:
Well said, Luis, thank for reminding us about the survey.

Zomarie:
Is it possible to print a copy of my online application before I submit it electronically?

Luis:
The actual and complete application cannot be printed before you answer the questions. Let’s be clear about that. However, the important thing is that if you want to print the application you’ll have to do it one page at the time. As you move through the pages and answer the questions, you can print the screen. But the whole application, in its entirety cannot be printed prior to answering the questions.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
What will happen if the system fails to load the confirmation page? What should I do?

Luis:
If that happens, you should call us immediately or as soon as you have a chance. You should call 1-800-772-1213 and talk to us to let us know what happened.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
What are the hours during which I can complete my online application for benefits?

Luis:
The hours vary but basically you have the system available from Monday through Friday from 5 AM to 11PM, until 1 AM During the weekends, you have from 5 AM until about 10 on Sundays, 11 on Saturdays. Holidays, from 5 AM until 11 PM. So please keep in mind that during certain hours the online application will not be available for the simple reason that we have to maintain the system and collect or retrieve the applications that people have submitted, and, for this reason we need time. So, during certain hours the system will not be available.

Zomarie:
OK

Zomarie:
Here we have a very interesting question. My mother is thinking about retiring but only speaks Spanish. Is there any information in Spanish about the Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare?

Luis:
Let me tell you that you came to the right place, because that’s exactly what we’re talking about. We’re talking about you being able to obtain information in your own language: Spanish. Just as we’re speaking right now, Castilian, right? And it’s just because of that that we’re letting you know that you can now visit segurosocial.gov and there you can go to the tab that says “Retirement" and you’ll find a wealth of publications and information that will provide the exact information about what you should do.

You can use the Retirement Estimator to have an idea of how much, more or less, you can expect to receive and so forth; there’s lots of stuff there! It even has information about Medicare. If you need information about Medicare benefits, you can find them there as well.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
This has been great today! Please, remember that you can still send us your questions. I’m going to continue reading some questions, but you can send us your questions, at any moment using Facebook, Twitter or email.

Zomarie:
Will I lose the information that I’ve entered if I stop at any moment while I’m completing the online application?

Luis:
The answer is yes and no.

Zomarie:
OK?!

Luis:
OK. At first, I’m going to say “no.” The basic reason is that to avoid this problem, losing the information you’ve already entered, you should go to the button at the bottom of the page where it says, "Save and exit" and you should click on that button to save the information. This will allow you to return to the application later and finish it. Now, if you forget to do this, unfortunately, the answer is “yes,” you’re going to lose the information and you’ll have to start over again.

Zomarie:
It’s very important that you press the “Save” button.

Luis:
And, “Exit.”

Zomarie:
If someone that I know is eligible to get the Extra Help with the cost of the Medicare prescription medicine, May I help that person apply online for the Extra Help?

Luis:
Definitely. Please, if you know someone whom you think is eligible to receive the Extra Help benefit with the cost of the Medicare prescription medicine, please help the person. We invite family members, attorneys, all of the community workers, even friends that if you know someone who could benefit from this benefit, then please help the person. But only if the person asks you for help.

Zomarie:
Are there any limitations to using the online application when the person lives in Puerto Rico?

Luis:
The truth is that I don’t know the answer to that question. So I’d recommend that you call us at 1-800-772-1213 to get a possible answer to this question, and some more information.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
Well, while we’re waiting for more questions, if you want to tell us about the online services available in Spanish, this would be a good time to do it.

Luis:
Perfect. We have an excellent source of information for every person. We have information about retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivors benefits, Medicare; information about people who get divorce, which is a question that I often get when I make presentations: what about people who get divorced, are we eligible for any benefits? Yes, there are some established rules, but you can find the information at segurosocial.gov and there you’ll find all of the information that you need to answer your questions.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
You said that the person can save the online application and finish it later, is there a time limit to finish the application?

Luis:
The truth is that I don’t know the exact time limit. I know that you can login and out a couple of times. But to find the right answer is better that you call us at 1-800-772-1213 and our representative will be able to inform you of the exact time limit, if there is a time limit.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
How secure is my personal information?

Luis:
Super safe! Zomarie, as you said a little while ago, at the beginning of this webinar, we used the most advanced technology available to us to keep Your personal information safe. This is important to us and, of course, we know that it’s important to you too.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
I helped my grandmother to complete the online application, who should click the “Submit” button?

Luis:
A very good question. Be careful, please, the person who should be “signing” the application should be the person applying for the benefits; not the person that is helping to complete the application. This is important because if you apply for benefits but the person for whom you’re applying doesn’t want to be receive the benefits, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do this, right?

Zomarie:
Besides, it may not be a valid application.

Luis:
This voids the application and everything else.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
I started to complete my online application and was issued an application number, what should I do with this number?

Luis:
That application number is a unique number assigned to you so that you can login to your online application if you save and exit the application and want to come back to it.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you.

Zomarie:
Can I apply for Medicare only without applying for retirement benefits?

Luis:
Definitely. If you’re 65 years old, which is the age at which you can apply for the Medicare benefits, and you only want to apply for Medicare because you’re working, you don’t need the retirement benefits right now, then you can apply for Medicare benefits only.

All you have to do is to go to segurosocial.gov click on the tab that
says "Medicare," right in the center of the page it says, "apply for Medicare Benefits," you click that button and you’ll immediately be taken to the application. It’s so easy!

Zomarie:
That’s good, Luis.

Zomarie:
What’s segurosocial.gov website policy to safeguard our information against identity theft, and complete or submit an explanation?

Luis:
OK, as we previously stated, and you stated at the beginning of the webinar, we have taken all of the necessary steps and used the most advanced technology available to us to protect your personal information. Because as I said earlier: it’s important to you and it’s important to us. Therefore, one of the things we do is, for example, you go online to apply for benefits and we told you we’d ask you some questions that only you should be able to answer. For example, we ask you your name, your Social Security number, and date of birth. We will also ask you for your mother’s maiden name. For starters, these are things that help protect you information from being accessed by anyone else.

Zomarie:
OK, thank you Luis.

Zomarie:
Can a person who is under 62 years old use the Retirement Benefits Calculator?

Luis:
The Retirement Benefits Calculator is available to anyone as long as the person is eligible to receive retirement benefits. This is to say that the person has enough Social Security credits. Here we’re referring to a person who has worked for at least ten years; that person has access to the Retirement Benefits Calculator.

Zomarie:
Thank you, Luis.

Zomarie:
Can I apply online for Social Security disability benefits?

Luis:
You can apply online for the Social Security disability benefits. However, applying for the Social Security disability benefits is a two-part application, and it is important to understand that. The first part is the online application. The second part is the medical history questionnaire.

Currently, the online application is available in Spanish. But the medical history questionnaire is in English. So, if you wish to apply online for the disability benefits, you may do so. Only keep in mind that part of the application process and it’s an important part, the medical history questionnaire, is in English. This questionnaire is an extremely important part of the application because in it you let us know what are your medical challenges and other information.

If you feel uncomfortable filling it out, just don’t do it. Simply call us at 1-800-772-1213 and we’ll make you an appointment o we’ll take your application right away today.

Zomarie:
OK. We have interpreters for people who speak Spanish.

Luis:
Exactly!

Zomarie:
What’s the difference between the application number and the confirmation number?

Luis:
There’s a small difference. The small difference is that the application number is the number that allows you to login again to your application. When you’ve finished answering the questions and you say to yourself, “well, I’m going to send the application,” and you click on the “Sign Now” button, the computer will issue a confirmation number. With this number you can call the local Social Security office and it will confirm that we have received the application.

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
But the confirmation number, I mean, the application number is to login back into the application.

Zomarie:
OK.

Zomarie:
Can I get a new password if I lose or forget the one I had?

Luis:
This happens to all of us. Especially when we have email accounts and other things, we tend to forget passwords. Because you have to have a password for everything and everything has a password. To keep all of those passwords in mind so that no one can steal it. Sometimes you write it somewhere and then you forget where you wrote it! But that’s not a problem for us. If you forget your password, just go online at segurosocial.gov and click on the tab that reads, “Retirement.”

Zomarie:
OK.

Luis:
There, go to the bottom of the screen where it says, “Get or change a password,” you click on it and you’ll see instruction on how to get one.

Zomarie:
OK. That’s sounds easy to do!

Luis:
Everything that we have online is easy!

Zomarie:
Let’s go to another question. If someone is using the system and all of a sudden it won’t accept the information, what should the person do? Is there someone who can help?

Luis:
It all depends on the hour. If for some reason the online application rejects the information or something else happens, you should call us at 1-800-772-1213. That way you can explain to us what you did and we can tell what you need to do to fix it.

Zomarie:
OK, Luis.

Zomarie:
Many times I have persons who, even though the system is available in Spanish, they cannot complete it. Am I allowed to do it on their behalf?

Luis:
When you tell me that someone has not been able to complete the online application, who is completing the application? That is the first question. If someone for some reason or another cannot complete the online application, then you can help the person.

But remember that you must have consent from the person, this is important. Because, it’s possible that the person doesn’t want you to know her personal information, for example. The best thing to do is that if the person allows you to complete the online application on her behalf, you should do it with the person sitting next to you. If the person prefers not to do it, then she can call us at 1-800-772-1213 and we’ll help.

Zomarie:
Thank you, Luis.

Zomarie:
My mother will get benefits under my father’s record, next year. Is her online application secured?

Luis:
Definitely. You can be receiving benefits under someone else’s record. And when you decide to receive your own benefits under your own Social Security record, all you have to do is go to segurosocial.gov, click on the tab that says “Retirement,” and complete the application. It’s that easy!

Zomarie:
I have another question for you.

Luis:
OK. Go ahead.

Zomarie:
What happens if I complete the online application and then I move?

Luis:
That’s a good question, and this is important.
If you move after you completed the application, it’s important that you contact the local Social Security office to let them know that you moved and give the new address. That way, we can always find you.

Zomarie:
Now Luis, before we go to the last question, let’s remind them of our survey, I think the survey is very important to us.

Luis:
Yes, is very important. The whole idea of the survey is so that you can let us know how well you rate the webinar, how useful was the information, and what kind of information you’ll like us to discuss in future webinars. We use all of this information so that we can better help you, if you help us, we can help you.

Zomarie:
That’s right Luis. I’m going to ask you one last question.

Zomarie:
What if I complete the application…I’m sorry Luis, I went back to a previous question.

Now, the last question, for real, what happens next, after I have submitted the online application for benefits?

Luis:
Very well. Once we receive the online application we’ll review it. If anything is missing or we need to see your documents, we’ll contact you directly.

Luis:
Before we wrap things up, let’s hear from one of our celebrity spokespeople, Don Francisco.

Zomarie:
Ok, Luis, I love Don Francisco!

(Don Francisco commercial):
http://www.youtube.com/socialsecurityonline#p/u/8/cSiyZDSpPQ0

Luis:
Well, thank you for listening. We’re happy you were able to be here.

We will post a recording of this webinar online shortly, please share this information with your friends and family.

Zomarie:
And let them know we have Spanish Facebook and Twitter, too!

So please stay in touch!

Luis:

Zomarie, one last reminder. We don’t want to harp on it, but we need to emphasize that it’s important, please, that you take a moment and complete our short survey.

Zomarie:
I’m Zomarie Santiago,

Luis:
And I’m Luis Alicea, reporting on behalf of the Social Security Administration.

Zomarie and Luis:
Until the next time!