Buchheit Betsy


We are excited to celebrate a significant milestone for mySocial Security: 60 million registrations! We thank each of you who took the time to create a personal mySocial Security account — and encouraged others to do the same.  We keep improving our online services to make doing business with us easier, faster, and more accessible.

If you are receiving benefits, you can use your personal mySocial Security account, to:

  • Change your address and direct deposit information.

  • Get proof of your benefits.

  • Request replacement documents, like a Medicare card. 

If you aren’t currently receiving benefits, you can: 

  • Check your earnings record. 

  • Get estimates of your future benefits.

  • View your Social Security Statement. 

In most states, you can also request a replacement Social Security card online, although often you only need to know your Social Security number and you do not need the physical card.  See everything you can do with a personal mySocial Security account, and open one today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Please help us share this information about mySocial Security with friends and family.  You can also post it on social media to help us spread the word.   

# # #

Social Security Column

Sign up for Medicare Part B online


You can sign up for Medicare Part B online!  If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and want to enroll in Part B during the Special Enrollment Period, please visit our Medicare web page at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/.

From there, you can enroll in Part B by completing these forms:  CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B [Medical Insurance]) and CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information).

You can also fax or mail the CMS-40B and CMS-L564 to your local Social Security office to enroll.  You can find the fax number and address for your local office at www.ssa.gov/locator.  Please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY1-800-325-0778) if you have any questions.  

 Note:  When completing the forms:

  • State, “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.

  • If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature.

  • Submit one of the following types of secondary evidence by uploading it from a saved document on your computer: 

  • Income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid.

  • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.

  • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.

  • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.

  • Explanations of benefits paid by the Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plan.

  • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

 Please let your friends and loved ones know about this online, mail, or fax option.

Social Security supports small businesses 




The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing small businesses.  Running a small business can be a 24-7 endeavor.  Managing employees, inventory, scheduling, services, and marketing can be challenging even in normal times. 

If you’re a small business owner, or you work for one, our online suite of services can help make your life easier.  Our business services allow you to file W-2/W-2Cs online and verify your employees’ names and Social Security numbers against our records.

Our online services at www.ssa.gov/employerwill save you valuable time when you need information on filing electronic W-2s and verifying Social Security numbers.  

Small business owners can also take advantage of our Business Services Online at www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.  You must register to use this free service, which also offers fast and secure online W-2 filing options to Certified Public Accountants, enrolled agents, and individuals who process W-2s and W-2Cs.

For more information about electronic wage reporting, please read our publication at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10034.pdf.



Understanding Social Security spouses’ benefits


Did you know your spouse’s benefit amount could be up to 50% of your spouse’s full retirement age benefit amount?  If you qualify for a retirement benefit from your own work history and a spouse’s record, we always pay your own benefit first.  You cannot receive spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving their retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses). 

If you receive your retirement benefit before your full retirement age, while waiting for your spouse to reach full retirement age, your own retirement portion will be reduced.  When you add your spouse’s benefits later, the total retirement and spouse’s benefit together will be no more than 50% of the worker’s amount.  You can find out more about this at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/applying7.html.

Knowing about these benefits can help you plan your financial future.  Access a wealth of useful information on our retirement portal at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement

Need a standardized benefit verification letter? Get it online.


If you need a Benefit Verification letter, sometimes called a “proof of income letter,” we have good news for you! Your Benefit Verification letter is available online when you need proof of Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicare. 

In addition to your name, date of birth, and the benefits received, your Benefit Verification letter includes other identifiers to prevent misuse and fraud.  This is an added benefit to you as proof of income for loans, housing assistance, mortgage, and other verification purposes.

The same letter is also available if you need proof that you do not receive benefits, or proof that benefits are pending.  If you are an individual representative payee, you can use the mySocial SecurityRepresentative Payee portal to access the Benefit Verification letter online for your beneficiaries.

You can get your Benefit Verification letter anytime using your personal mySocial Securityaccount.  You can use any device to quickly and efficiently access your Benefit Verification letter.  Request it today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount

Questions and answers


Question: Can I refuse to give my Social Security number to a private business?

Answer: Yes, you can refuse to disclose your Social Security number, and you should be careful about giving out your number. But, be aware, the person requesting your number can refuse services if you don’t give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone's number and use it for any purpose that doesn’t violate a federal or state law. To learn more about your Social Security number, visit www.ssa.gov/ssnumber.

Question: I got married and I need to change my name in Social Security’s records. What do I do?

Answer: If you change your name due to marriage or for any other reason, you’ll need to report the change and get a corrected Social Security card with your new name. You will need to fill out Form SS-5. You can get a copy of this form by visiting www.ssa.gov/ss5doc or by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You’ll also need to provide the original marriage certificate showing your new and old names. You can mail the documentation to your local Social Security office. In some cases, we may need other forms of documentation as well. For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/ssnumber


Question: I’m creating my budget for next year. How much will my benefit increase at the beginning of the year?


Answer: The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the years when a COLA is due, you will receive your COLA starting in January. Please visit our website at www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/latestCOLA.html to see if a COLA is in effect for this year.

Question: I plan to retire soon. When are Social Security benefits paid?

Answer: Social Security benefits are paid each month. Generally, new retirees receive their benefits on either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on the day in the month the retiree was born. If you receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit payment date will be determined by your spouse’s birth date. 

Here’s a chart showing how your monthly payment date is determined:

Day of the Month You Were Born

Social Security Benefits Paid On


Second Wednesday


Third Wednesday


Fourth Wednesday

For a calendar showing actual payment dates, see the Schedule of Social Security Benefit Payments at www.ssa.gov/pubs


Question: My aunt became mentally disabled as a result of a car accident. Does Social Security have a special program for people who are obviously physically or mentally disabled? 

Answer: Social Security is committed to providing benefits quickly to applicants who are severely disabled. Through our Compassionate Allowances program, we can quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that qualify, based on minimal objective medical information, and that allow us to make payments much sooner than the usual review process allows. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. People who don’t meet the Compassionate Allowances criteria will still have their medical conditions reviewed by Social Security.Learn more about our Compassionate Allowances at www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances.

Question: It’s hard for me to get around because of my disability. Can I apply for disability benefits from home?

Answer: Yes. In fact, the best way to apply for disability benefits is online. Our online disability application is convenient and secure. You can apply for benefits online at www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability. If you do not have internet access, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule a telephone appointment with your local Social Security office to apply. You may want to begin by looking at our Disability Starter Kit at www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits.htm. It will help you prepare for your application or interview.

Supplemental Security Income

Question: I know you need to have limited resources to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what is considered a resource? 

Answer: Resources are things you own that you can use for support. They include cash, real estate, personal belongings, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. To be eligible for SSI a person must have no more than $2,000 in countable resources. A married couple must have no more than $3,000 in countable resources. If you own resources over the SSI limit, you may be able to get SSI benefits while trying to sell the resources. Not all of your resources count toward the SSI resource limit. For example:

  • The home you live in and the land it's on do not count.

  • Your personal effects and household goods do not count.

  • Life insurance policies may not count, depending on their value. 

  • Your car usually does not count.

  • Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family do not count.

  • Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse may not count.

  • If you are blind or have a disability, some items may not count if you plan to use them to work or earn extra income.

You may also wish to read our material on "resources" in the booklet, Understanding SSI at www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm

Question: I’m 38 years old and have been approved to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. I was surprised to learn that my payment will be reduced because I live with my mom. Why’s that? 

Answer: SSI is a needs-based program, so any other income you receive — including non-monetary income such as help with your bills or other expenses — can have an effect on your benefit payment. Your SSI payments may be reduced if you are receiving food, shelter, or monetary assistance. If you move, or if the situation in your mom’s household changes, be sure to contact Social Security. For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/ssi.


Question: I need to make changes to my Medicare prescription drug coverage. When can I do that?

Answer: Open season for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage runs from October 15 to December 7. The Medicare Part D prescription drug program is available to all Medicare beneficiaries. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary and participants pay an additional monthly premium. If you are considering changing your plan, you might want to revisit the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs. If you have limited resources and income, you may also be eligible for Extra Help to pay monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,900 per year. To find out more, visit www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp. For more information about the Medicare prescription drug program itself, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

Question:How do I get a copy of the form, Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs? 

Answer:  If you wish to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs, we recommend you use our online application at www.ssa.gov/i1020. You can find instruction sheets in 15 different languages to help you understand the English application at www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp. If you prefer not to fill out this application online, you can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), to ask for a paper application. Also, you can make a telephone appointment with your local Social Security office to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.