GENERAL

Q: What should I do if an employee gives me a Social Security number but cannot produce the card?

A: Seeing the card is not as important as putting the correct information on the worker’s Form W-2. You can verify employee Social Security numbers by using the Social Security Number Verification Service. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/bso. This online service allows registered employers to verify employee Social Security numbers against Social Security records for wage reporting purposes.

RETIREMENT

Q: My spouse doesn’t have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can they qualify on my record?

A: A spouse receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. You can learn more by reading our online publication, Retirement Benefits, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

DISABILITY

Q: How do I report a change of address if I’m getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

A: A person receiving SSI must report any change of address by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or by contacting your local office within 10 days after the month the change occurs. You cannot complete a change of address online. You should report your new address to Social Security so you can continue to get mail from Social Security when necessary, even if you get your benefits electronically by direct deposit or Direct Express. Learn more about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

MEDICARE

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

A: Open season for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 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 $4,000 per year. To find out more, visit www.socialsecurity.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).

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