Social Security Safeguards Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Disability benefits offer a financial lifeline when people are struck by a serious medical condition that affects their ability to perform substantial gainful activity in the workforce on a sustained basis. Benefits are for medical conditions that are expected to last at least one year or to result in death. The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of several federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Our friends, family members, and neighbors, including wounded warriors and the chronically ill, rely on these vital programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
Your clients can learn more about Social Security disability benefits at: www.socialsecurity.gov/disability and SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.
Changing Your Name on Your Social Security Card
If you or your clients legally changed your name, you need to tell us so we can send a corrected card. You cannot request to change your name via Social Security’s online services.
To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. You also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies. You can find out which documents you must show to change your name at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10513.pdf.
For complete instructions, you and your clients can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.
Social Security’s Frequently Asked and Answered Questions
Social Security’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage is one of our most popular and helpful resources. Your clients probably have questions all the time about our programs. Even experts in retirement and disability benefits find this collection of facts helpful. Currently, our top five FAQs are:
- How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security number card?
- How do I change or correct my name on my Social Security number card?
- What happens if I work and get Social Security retirement benefits?
- How long will it take to get a Social Security card?
- How can I get a benefit verification letter?
Check out these popular questions and their answers or browse our FAQs by topic to conveniently find the answers to questions about what interests you. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/faq today.
Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit Resource Guide from the Department of Justice
Roughly 20 percent of older adults live in rural communities. Often there are fewer services and service providers in rural communities, and access to broadband may be limited. All of these service challenges can affect the quality of life in rural communities, and they can make it difficult to identify and combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation in rural communities, including tribal communities.
Let your clients know that the Justice Department has an online guide to help you fight elder abuse in rural and tribal communities at www.justice.gov/elderjustice/rural-and-tribal-resources.
Social Security also has resources for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Social Security continues to work with Tribal Governments to build strong, positive relationships between our agency and Tribal Nations. We will continue to update our American Indians and Alaska Natives website to provide your clients with a wealth of information about all of Social Security’s programs and online services. We also publish an annual progress report on Tribal Consultation and Coordination outreach.
Your clients can learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/aian.
How You Can Help Social Security Protect Others
At Social Security, we are committed to protecting the information entrusted to us. We’ve posted a series of blogs about how our beneficiaries can protect their information from scammers and what to do when they receive a “spoof” call.
We are teaming up with other government agencies and organizations to help spread the message. Most recently, we partnered with the Federal Trade Commission to tell the public how to avoid spoofing and robocalls. We also shared warnings from the Office of Inspector General about Social Security-related scams.
You can help us protect the clients you serve. We believe that knowing how to tell the difference between a scammer and a genuine call from the federal government is very important. These are some things to remember:
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden name, or other identifying information if a call seems suspicious.
- Government employees will not threaten to take away benefits or ask for money or personal information to protect someone’s Social Security number or benefits.
- If you receive a call from someone asking for your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card information, don’t engage this caller. Instead, hang up and report that information to the Office of Inspector General via their online fraud-reporting form. You can also report these calls to the Federal Trade Commission.
Scammers are hard at work every day. Together, we must work harder to safeguard the American public. Help us spread the word.