How Social Security Continues to Serve You during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose hardships and our country's most vulnerable citizens continue to suffer. Many people rely on face-to-face meetings to get the help they need. Since last year, we’ve seen fewer applications for the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. We’re working to let people know we are here to help with benefits, tools, and information.
We’re giving special attention to children with disabilities — along with their families and caretakers. If your client, or someone you know, has a child who may qualify for SSI, encourage them to apply by visiting our SSI Benefits page at www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi.
Resources, such as our People Helping Others page, provide information for anyone helping someone with accessing our services at www.ssa.gov/thirdparty. There, your clients can access our Faith-Based Community Group Outreach Toolkit for groups and organizations to share with their networks.
Please share this information with your clients.
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. This year’s theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Purpose-Driven Service.” The theme is part of a new series for 2021-2024 highlighting the Federal Asian Pacific American Council’s efforts in “Advancing Leaders.”
Social Security’s programs serve as financial protection for millions of Americans of every race and background. In honor of this month, we are shining a spotlight on our AAPI page at www.ssa.gov/people/aapi. Please share it with your clients today.
Encourage Your Clients of All Ages to Use my Social Security
A my Social Security account isn’t just for people receiving Social Security benefits. Anyone can access their Social Security information with their personal my Social Security accounts and do the following:
- View their earnings history.
- Start the benefit application process.
- Check the status of their application.
- View, print, or save a letter verifying that they do not receive benefits.
- View the benefits they could receive based on their spouse’s earnings history.
- Find out if they have enough work credits to be eligible to receive benefits.
- Request a replacement Social Security card (in most States and the District of Columbia).
- View, print, or save a copy of their Social Security Statement and supplemental fact sheets.
- Find out if they qualify for other types of benefits (i.e., disability, survivors, and Medicare coverage).
- If they have enough work credits to be eligible to receive benefits,
- Compare retirement benefit estimates at different ages or dates when they want to start receiving benefits.
- View what benefits their spouse could receive based on their earnings history.
Please encourage your clients to open a personal my Social Security account today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Replacement or Corrected Social Security Cards during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations, depending upon local office conditions. However, your clients may apply for a replacement Social Security card online and by mail. Before requesting a replacement card, please remember that they might not need the physical card. Most of the time, simply knowing the Social Security number is enough.
If your client has a critical situation that requires them to have a physical card and they cannot apply by mail or online, they should call their local Social Security office. Please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page for more information at www.ssa.gov/coronavirus.
Your clients can use our online application if they are an adult, have a State-issued drivers’ license or non-driver identification card, and live in the District of Columbia or one of the 45 States that verifies State-issued documents for us. All they need to do is create a personal my Social Security account to access and complete the online application at www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-card.html.
If your client lives in one of the five States that do not participate — Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia — know that we are working hard to bring this service to them as soon as possible.
Applying by Mail
We require proof of your client’s identity with their replacement card application (www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf), usually a U.S. passport, or State-issued drivers’ license or non-driver identification card. These proofs must show your client’s name and identifying information (such as date of birth or age), be current (i.e., not expired), and be an original or a certified copy. We will return any documents they send us.
Older Americans Month – Reminder to Apply for Retirement Benefits Online
May is Older Americans Month — a great chance to share Social Security information with your older clients.
If they are ready to receive retirement benefits, they can apply online at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement. They can complete their application, return to a saved application not yet completed, and check their application status with a personal my Social Security account.
Your clients can do much of their business with us online from their homes. Please urge your clients to learn what they can do online at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices.
What to Do If Your Clients are Missing Economic Impact Payments
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) last month. Most Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients should have received their EIPs by now. Do you have clients who believe they missed an EIP for themselves, an eligible spouse, or eligible dependent, from this round or any previous round of EIPs?
Your clients can visit our EIP and Tax Credits page at www.ssa.gov/eip to learn what steps to take. They may need to file a 2020 tax return with the IRS and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to receive missing first or second EIPs, even if they do not have income to report for 2020. The IRS will send your clients any additional third EIP amount they are eligible for in 2021 separately. Our web page also provides links to the IRS where your clients may be able to file their federal taxes free of charge at www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
Please let your clients know that they should contact the IRS for questions about tax-related topics and economic impact payments.