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September 30, 2012

Social Security: Sept. 30, 2012: Frequently asked questions on Social Security

TERRE HAUTE — Q: I usually get my benefit payment on the third of the month. But what if the third falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday? Will my payment be late?

A: Just the opposite. Your payment should arrive early. For example, if you usually get your payment on the third of a month, but it falls on a Saturday like it does this November, we will make payments on Friday, Nov. 2. Find more information about the payment schedule for 2012 at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/calendar.htm. If you do ever miss a payment, be sure to wait three days before calling to report it missing. Of course, if you get your payments electronically, you’ll get your payment without having to wait for the mail. Find out more about electronic payments at www.godirect.org.

Q: I’m trying to decide when to retire. Can Social Security help?

A: The best place to start is with a visit to the online Social Security Statement. The Statement provides you with estimates of benefits for you and your family as well as your earnings record and information you should consider about retirement and retirement planning. Find out more about the Statement — and get yours — at www.social

security.gov/

mystatement.

There “right” time to retire is different for everyone and depends on your individual situation. To help you make your own decision, we offer an online fact sheet with some of the factors to consider at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10147.html.

Q: I’ve decided I want to retire. Now what do I do?

A: The fastest and easiest way to apply for retirement benefits is to go to www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. Use our online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouses benefits. To do so, you must:

• Be at least 61 years and 9 months old;

• Want to start your benefits in the next four months; and

• Live in the United States or one of its commonwealths or territories.

Q: I’m retired and the only income I have is from an Individual Retirement Account. Are my IRA withdrawals considered “earnings”? Could they reduce my monthly Social Security benefits?

A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you’re self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits either. However, your benefit may be affected by a government pension from work on which you did not pay Social Security tax. For more information, visit our website or call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Q: My mom receives Supplemental Security Income. She soon will be coming to live with me. Do we have to report the move to Social Security?

A: Yes. She must report a change in living arrangements within 10 days of moving. The change may affect her benefit amount, and she could be penalized if she does not report the change on time. Also, we need her correct address so we can send correspondence, even if she receives her payments electronically. Please have your mom call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Q: I was turned down for Supplemental Security Income; can I appeal the decision?

A: If you disagree with a decision made on your claim, you can appeal it. The steps you can take are explained in Your Right To Question A Decision Made On Your Supplemental Security Income Claim, available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11008.html. Also, you have the right to have a representative, such as an attorney, help you. More information is in Your Right To Representation, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10075.html. Read these and other publications online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

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, do not 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/10064.html.

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