Faxed Applications No Longer Being Accepted
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily allowed faxed applications to expedite the application process. Since the Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023, please note that we are longer accepting faxed applications as valid.
Applications must meet the following criteria to be considered valid:
- On a prescribed application form;
- Signed beneath the penalty clause by a proper applicant;
- Filed with SSA; and
- The claimant must be alive when the application is filed unless:
- Before death, there was a written statement of intent to claim benefits.
- Before death, a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) oral inquiry was received.
- Within 3 months after the month of death, a title II disability application is filed.
You may find information on valid applications here.
How SSA.gov Helps You
We’re excited to remind you about two helpful screening tools on SSA.gov! These tools are the Benefits Screener and the Card Replacement Screener. The Benefit Screener helps your clients determine their eligibility for benefits and the Card Replacement Screener helps them request a replacement Social Security card. Let’s go over how your clients can use these tools.
You can access the Benefits Screener tool at www.ssa.gov/prepare/check-eligibility-for-benefits to determine which benefits your clients may be eligible for, typically in 10 minutes or less! Whether they’re considering retirement, disability, survivor, or other types of benefits, this tool will guide them in the right direction.
To use the screener, your clients can select the “Start” button and answer a few questions about what’s going on in their life. Your clients will immediately get a response that tells them which benefits they may be eligible for based on their answers.
Card Replacement Screener
Your clients can access the Card Replacement Screener at www.ssa.gov/number-card/replace-card. Requesting a replacement Social Security card is free. In most situations, your clients do not need to present a physical card – just knowing their Social Security number is usually enough. But, if your clients need a physical Social Security card, they can use this screener to determine the best way to replace it.
Depending on their situation, your clients may be able to request a replacement Social Security card without visiting a local office. If your clients can’t complete the process online and have to visit an office, they can save time by starting with the online application.
SSA.gov continues to be a safe and secure way to conduct business with us online. The redesigned website—with its online tools—is the quickest, easiest, and most convenient way to begin.
Please share this information with your clients.
Celebrating 88 Years of Social Security
For 88 years, Social Security has provided income protection to millions of retirees, people with disabilities, dependents, and families that lose a wage earner. This year, we will administer more than $1.3 trillion in benefits and payments to more than 70 million beneficiaries and cover 181 million workers and their families. In addition to paying benefits, we issue millions of Social Security numbers each year, maintain the wage records of workers, and more. The scope of what we do is enormous, and we are proud to serve the American people every day.
To better serve your clients, we have prioritized our online customer experience. Our website, SSA.gov, makes it easier for your clients to find what they need. More than 180 million people visit our website every year. Whether providing service in person or online, our goal is to help people understand what they may qualify for and transition them to an application process.
You and your clients can learn more on our blog at blog.ssa.gov/celebrating-88-years-of-social-security/ Please share this information with your clients.
Social Security Services for the Hispanic Community
Social Security strives to deliver great customer service and helpful information to everyone, including people who are more comfortable reading and speaking Spanish.
Our Spanish-language website, www.segurosocial.gov, provides information about our programs and services. Your clients can learn how to get a Social Security card, plan for retirement, apply for and manage benefits, and much more.
Your clients can also learn more about why Social Security is important to the Hispanic community at www.ssa.gov/espanol/personas/hispanos. We provide many publications in Spanish at www.ssa.gov/espanol/publicaciones on popular topics such as:
- Supplemental Security Income.
- Retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.
Spanish-speaking customers who need to speak with a representative can call us at 1-800-772-1213 and press 7. Please share these resources with your clients. And follow us on our Spanish-language Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/segurosocial and www.twitter.com/segurosocial.
Minimizing the Risk of Financial Abuse for People Living with Dementia
Financial crime against older Americans is a growing problem. People living with dementia are at an especially high risk of becoming victims. That’s why we’re committed to combatting fraud.
As their memory and other thinking skills decline, people with dementia may struggle to make financial decisions. They may not remember or report the abuse – or understand that someone is taking advantage of them. This abuse can occur anywhere – including at home or in care settings.
Victims of fraud who are 80 years and older lose an average of $39,200 every year. Studies show that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse. However, only a small fraction of these incidents are reported.
Your clients can learn to recognize common signs of financial exploitation and abuse, including:
- Unopened bills.
- Unusual or large purchases.
- Utilities being shut off due to unpaid bills.
- Money given to telemarketers or soliciting companies.
- Unexplained withdrawals from the person’s bank account.
There are also many simple things that caregivers can do to reduce the risk of financial abuse for people with dementia and similar conditions, like Alzheimer’s. Your clients can learn more by visiting our blog at blog.ssa.gov/minimizing-the-risk-of-scams-for-people-living-with-dementia.
Please share this information with your clients.
Disability: Part of the Equity Equation
People with disabilities play an important role in a diverse and inclusive workforce. We would like to tell your clients about Amy and her path to financial independence through work.
Amy has a developmental disability that affects her speech, learning, and social interactions. When she was ready to find a path to financial independence through work, Amy turned to her State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency for help. Amy’s VR counselor told her about Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program.
The Ticket Program supports career development for people with disabilities who want to work. Adults ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) qualify for this free and voluntary program. Through the Ticket Program, service providers offer free employment support services.
Amy had questions about how employment could affect her benefits. Her State VR counselor connected her with Full Circle Employment Solutions. Full Circle is an Employment Network with benefits counselors on staff who explained how working might affect her disability benefits.
Your clients can read the rest of Amy’s story on our blog at blog.ssa.gov/disability-part-of-the-equity-equation. Please share this information with your clients.