GENERAL

Q: I can’t seem to find my Social Security card. Do I need to get a replacement?

A: In most cases, knowing your Social Security number is enough. But, if you do apply for and receive a replacement card, don’t carry that card with you. Keep it with your important papers. For more information about your Social Security card and number, and for information about how to apply for a replacement, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. If you believe you’re the victim of identity theft, read our publication Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

RETIREMENT

Q: Why doesn’t my estimate using the Retirement Estimator take into account my work as a teacher? I’ve worked for 20 years for the state and thought it would count.

A: If you work for a state or local government agency — including a school system, college, or university — your earnings may not be covered by Social Security. If you are covered only by your state or local pension plan and you don’t pay Social Security taxes, your earnings won’t be shown on your Social Security record. (Your record will show your Medicare wages if you pay into that program.) For information on how your pension from non-covered state or local employment may affect the amount of your Social Security benefit, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/wep-chart.htm

DISABILITY

Q: Is it true that a person can own a home and still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

A: Yes. A person who owns a home and lives in that home can be eligible for SSI benefits. Although there is an asset limit for people to qualify for SSI, some things don’t count toward that limit, such as a house, a vehicle, and some funds set aside for burial expenses. To learn more about SSI and the eligibility requirements, browse our booklet, Supplemental Security Income at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html.

MEDICARE

Q: Where can I find general information about Medicare benefits?

A: Social Security determines whether people are entitled to Medicare benefits, but the program is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). You can visit CMS’s Medicare website at www.medicare.gov, or call them at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Online or by phone, you can find answers to all your Medicare questions at CMS.

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