National Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a time to acknowledge the unique contributions women make to our society and economy. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history.
Encourage your clients to visit Social Security’s financial planning website at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect their Social Security benefits.
If your clients want more information about how Social Security supports women, share our booklet titled Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf.
March is National Professional Social Work Month
Some of your clients may be social workers or volunteers in their communities. They get fulfillment from helping others. Sometimes this is as simple as answering an email with vital information that could change a person’s life for the better. Give these clients the Social Security tools they need to keep the people they serve informed about our online services at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.
A useful publication to share with parents and guidance counselors is What You Need to Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18 at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-11005.pdf.
You can also share Social Security’s Red Book, a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of the Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook.
Facebook Live – National Consumer Protection Week
National Consumer Protection Week was in March. Social Security used that opportunity to share information on how fraudsters pretend to be from Social Security, the IRS, or other government agencies so they can scam your clients. Fraudsters cause serious financial harm using this scam. We teamed up with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide you and your clients with information on how to identify and report these scams. Stay ahead of the fraudsters.
You can watch our Facebook Live event about fraud and share it at www.facebook.com/socialsecurity/videos/389979068460929/
Beware of People Pretending to be from Social Security
Unfortunately, identify theft and fraud are a part of our current reality. Social Security uses high levels of security to protect your client’s identity from being stolen. A new phone scam tricks people into thinking we have called them, and then pressures them into giving out personal information. Social Security never does this. And your clients should never give their personal information to someone over the phone if they do not know who they are.
Here’s what your clients need to know:
- Social Security representatives will never (ever) call and threaten you with loss of your benefits or deactivation of your Social Security number.
- Your caller ID might show the Social Security’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that may not be the real Social Security calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You can’t always trust what you see there.
- Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number — ever — to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
- Remember that anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is a scammer. Always. No matter who they say they are.
We encourage you to share our Social Security Phone Scam Alert video with your clients to quickly alert them to the dangers of this fraud and give them the tools they need to report it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N96ORODZm8.
They can also report fraud online to the Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/fraud-waste-and-abuse.
National Social Security Month
April is National Social Security Month and this year we’re highlighting some of the time-saving features of the my Social Security account. Once you create an account, you’ll see that we have a record of your earnings history and information to securely estimate what you could receive once you start collecting benefits. With your personal my Social Security account, you can also:
- Request a replacement Social Security card
- Set up or change direct deposit
- Get a proof of income letter
- Change your address, if you are getting benefits
- Check the status of your Social Security application
- Get a Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099)
Encourage your clients to create a my Social Security account. Celebrate National Social Security Month by learning what you can do online anytime, anywhere at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.