By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Let’s face it, the last thing you’re going to want to do during this holiday season is another errand. You’ve hung the lights, plugged them in, and were frustrated when you realized you needed to replace one little bulb to make the entire string work. That’s a trip to the store. You thought this holiday season would be easy. When it comes to taking care of Social Security business, it is easy. You’ll find that www.socialsecurity.gov makes it easy to stay home and get that one last thing done. You can check off much of your Social Security business quickly and securely from your home using your computer or tablet (which you might have unwrapped early). At the Social Security website you can—
* Create a my Social Security account, which enables you to:
• obtain an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits;
•verify the accuracy of your earnings record—your future benefit amounts are based on your earnings record, so it is important to make sure your earnings are recorded properly;
• change your address and phone number, if you receive monthly Social Security benefits;
• sign up for or change direct deposit of your Social Security benefits; and
• obtain estimates of the Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid;
* Apply for retirement, disability, spouses, and Medicare benefits;
* Check the status of your benefit application;
* Request a replacement Medicare card; and
* Apply for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
Keep in mind that during the holiday season, your wait time may be longer if you call or visit a local Social Security office. If you need to reach us by phone, you can call us toll-free at
1-800-772-1213. We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org