This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures.
Social Security Online
Social Security Update
April 2011

In This Issue:

George Takei and Patty Duke Boldly Go to Social Security Website

George Takei and Patty Duke Entertainment icons George Takei and Patty Duke have teamed up to tell Americans to Boldly Go to to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and so much more.

"Won't filing for Social Security benefits online be confusing?" George asks Patty in one of eight new commercials. Patty assures George, "It's so easy, even Kirk could do it."

To learn more about Social Security's online services, and to watch the new public service announcements featuring our volunteer celebrity spokespeople, "Boldly Go here". Like George, you may find yourself saying, "Oh my!"

When It Comes to Social Security--"No Check, Go Direct"

Go DirectIn one of the new video public service announcements, George Takei and Patty Duke let people know the best way to receive benefit payments is to "Go Direct."

As of May 1, 2011, paper checks will no longer be a payment option for those applying for Federal benefits. People who do not choose direct deposit at the time they apply for Federal benefits will receive their payments via the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card. Everyone who currently receives Social Security payments by paper check must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013.

To learn more, follow George and Patty's advice and visit

Get Mom 'Extra Help' this Mother's Day

mother & daughterMother's Day is right around the corner. It's always nice to give Mom a card, flowers, and candy. But this year people all over the country can help their moms save nearly $4,000 a year on the cost of prescription drugs. You can tell your clients to help their moms too — and it won't cost them a dime.

The high cost of prescription medication can be a burden on mothers (or anyone) who have limited income and resources. But there is Extra Help available through Social Security that could pay part of her monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.

Social Security has an easy-to-use online application that anyone can complete at Just select the link on the left of the page that says, "Get extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs." To apply by phone or have an application mailed, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to the nearest Social Security office.

To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods, visit

Honoring Those Who Served

American flagsOn Memorial Day, it's important to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. We at Social Security honor the heroism and courage of our military service members and mourn for those who have given their lives in defense of freedom.

It's also important to recognize those service members who are still with us today, especially those who have been wounded. They've served us; likewise, we serve them.

You can learn about how Social Security expedites disability benefits for wounded warriors at

If you have clients who served in the Armed Forces and are planning for retirement, please refer them to our publication, Military Service and Social Security at They also may want to visit the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner, available at

Public Service Recognition Week

Public Service Recognition Week Public Service Recognition Week takes place from May 1 to May 7, 2011. Social Security employees consider it a privilege to serve the American public. You only need to visit an office, call our toll-free number, or visit to see that when it comes to serving the public, we want to be the best.

We at Social Security appreciate the hard work and dedication of not only our own employees, but all people who serve the American public.

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