By Kirk Larson, Social Security Western Washington Public Affairs Specialist
We have all received gifts we’ve wanted to return: ugly socks or sweaters that look exactly like the one you got (or gave!) last year. Sometimes, just letting loved ones know that you’re there for them, no matter what, is the best gift of all. And you avoid the embarrassment of giving an awkward gift! Social Security is also there for you and your family — all year long.
For this holiday season, give your loved ones some peace of mind by introducing them to Social Security’s many programs. While creating new holiday memories, help your family members create a safe and secure my Social Security account at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long, with features that let you:
- Get your Social Security Statement, to review:
- Estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
- Your earnings once a year to verify the amounts that we posted are correct; and
- The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.
- Get a benefit verification letter stating that:
- You never received Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare; or
- You received benefits in the past, but do not currently receive them. The letter will include the date your benefits stopped and how much you received that year; or
- You applied for benefits but haven’t received an answer yet.
Additionally, we have resources for family members in the military who have been injured while serving, or are now disabled veterans. They can find out about benefits they may be eligible for at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans.
Your loved ones will also appreciate the gift of convenience! Social Security has many online services that can fit their diverse needs at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices/
Receiving support and friendship often means more than material gifts. As you’re exchanging presents this holiday season, remember to also exchange some knowledge, and pass on the effectiveness of my Social Security and our online services. Your loved ones will appreciate it.