Social Security

Social Security

Understanding Social Security Numbers, Programs, Qualifications and Benefits and How To Replace Your Social Security Card

By familiarizing yourself with important information such as: social security benefits, social security death index, your social security card, and knowing social security offices you heighten your understanding of the this leading government program providing benefits to more than forty percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five.

Social Security Act

This federal disability, old-age, and survivors’ insurance program with identifying social security numbers was created during the Great Depression when indigent statistics among elderly citizens surpassed fifty percent. The Social Security Act was created by elected representatives to minimize hardship and unemployment for elderly, widowed, and fatherless citizens. The Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935 providing benefits to retirees and the unemployed, as well as a one-time, single cash payment at death. Present-day retiree benefits are subsidized through payroll taxes as mandated by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

1) Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security Administration (SSA) is the program manager and responsible for supervision of the plan. Responsibilities include: collaborating and directing agreements with state and federal agencies and healthcare facilities; develop and generate policy direction in healthcare; analyze cost of healthcare data; anticipate future healthcare needs; issuing the social security card, social security card replacement, maintain the social security death index. Deaths prior to 1936 will not be part of the social security death index, which is a catalog of death records created from the SSA’s Death Master File. The financial community will frequently access the social security administration death master file to prevent identify fraud.

Recent Social Security Topics

2) Social Security Numbers

Social Security Numbers were not intended as a global recognition number. This nine-digit social security number is used by a massive amount of federal and private organizations as an identifier for United States citizens, permanent residents, which explains the importance of social security card replacement.

3) Replacement of Your Social Security Card

You are allowed a maximum of three social security replacement cards in a given year, a total of ten replaced social security cards in your lifetime. Requests for replacement social security cards due to a name change do not contribute to these limits. Replace a social security card by visiting or contacting your local social security office. You will complete an application; provide an original or a certified copy of identification documents: United States driver’s license or a state identification card, or a United States Passport; verify United States citizenship with a certified birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or your United States passport. Whether you bring these documents to your local social security office, or you mail them, they will be returned to you. Social security offices are conveniently located throughout the United States. You can communicate via telephone and electronic mail to most social security offices. It is a good idea to keep your social security number in a safe location incase you need a replacement social security card.

4) Social Security Benefits

During a person’s working life, the SSA monitors their income. The amount of the monthly payment that a person is permitted to receive is contingent upon their recorded earnings, and the age at which the person chooses to receive their benefits. The earliest age a person can receive benefits is sixty-two. Since this is considered early retirement, the monthly payment amount received from the Social Security Administration will be discounted. The standard retirement age for a working person born before 1938 is sixty-five. The standard retirement age increases by two months for each year of birth between the years of 1938 and to 1943. From 1943 until 1955 the standard retirement age is sixty-six, increasing again by two months for each year from 1955 until 1960. For those born after 1960, the standard retirement age increases to sixty-seven.

5) Social Security Disability and Social Security Disability Income

A person, who has worked a sufficient amount of time prior to the disability, earning the necessary quarters of coverage, is eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The person must be unable to maintain their existing occupation, and unable to adjust to other forms of employment. Moreover, the disability must continue a minimum of one year, or have the likelihood of causing death. Social Security Disability Income, known as SSI (Supplementary Security Income), utilizes the identical disability conditions as the above Social Security Disability plan; however, SSI is not centered on insurance protection, is the disability program for children, and the petitioner’s earnings and net wealth must fall within specific limitations. The Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) for 2011 is $674.00 per month for an individual and $1,011.00 for a couple; however, increased cash assistance may be available depending on the petitioner’s state of residence.

6) Offsets

Being the recipient of a federal, state or local government pension will greatly affect your social security entitlement even though you paid into the social security and earned qualifying quarters. You will suffer a benefit reduction under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). If you did not pay social security taxes and receive a federal, state or local government pension, your spouse’s social security benefits will be reduced. This reduction is referred to as the Government Pension Offset (GPO). The difference between both offsets: WEP uses a formula to reduce social security benefits, but at no time are they entirely reduced; and, comparable to a double pension, the widow or widower’s social security benefits are reduced by two-thirds of the dollar amount of the federal, state or local government pension. There is the possibility of a total reduction in social security benefits if this is applicable. Before 1984, workers in the Civil Service Retirement System did not pay social security tax on their earnings. Employees’ hired under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) pay social security taxes and are entitled to their benefits earned. There are online calculators available for those interested in researching their pension and benefit situations before applying.