General

Social Security Program Experts Can Answer Your Important Questions

October 8, 2020 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

There are many online resources about Social Security, so it is important that you come to us as the first place for answers. You can find many of the answers about our programs and services on our Frequently Asked Questions page. We feature our most-asked questions at the top of the page to help you find answers to the most common questions quickly, like:

You can also browse by topics like:

  • Disability.
  • Social Security Payments.
  • Retirement.
  • Medicare.

You can visit our publications library for detailed information on nearly all of our topics. We make each publication available in text, audio, and downloadable formats.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

  1. Lois D.

    A friend of mine has a medical condition which is requiring her to retire quickly and unexpectedly. Someone helping her with her retirement arrangements advised her to get a Social Security Card “with letters”. Since she isn’t great on the computer, I offered to help her – as she was told she can make the request online. I’ve looked at the SS site and I don’t see anywhere special to request this type of card for her. Please advise soonest.

    • Vonda

      Hi Lois, thanks for using our blog. A Social Security card contains a nine-digit Social Security number that helps us identify and accurately record a person’s covered wages or self-employment earnings.

      Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. When your friend is ready to apply, she can apply online.

      If she is unable or would rather not apply online, she can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or she can contact her local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Joe R.

    Hello, I’m retiring end-of-this year, my wife, from what I’m understanding from my research will receive half of my SS benefits (spousal benefit) with is much higher than her current SS benefits. However, my wife’s current benefits are subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). She worked 19 good years in private section, before becoming a teacher which she retired with 25 year paying no social security as a teacher but did paid into Texas TRS. Question: will the half of my SS spousal benefits that my wife will receive continue to be subject to the WEP, my wife has reached her FRA?
    Thank you
    JRE

    • Vonda

      Hi Joe, thanks for using our blog. If your wife receives a pension from a government job in which she did not pay Social Security taxes, some or all of her Social Security spouse’s, divorced spouse’s, widow’s, or surviving divorced widow’s benefit may be offset due to receipt of that pension. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO. For additional details, check out our Government Pension Offset factsheet.

      • Joe E.

        No Government Pension Offset? As previously mention Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), different than GPO, which usually applies to teacher whom have worked for a school District.
        Thank you,

        • Vonda

          Hi Joe. If your wife is eligible for a pension not covered by Social Security and is also eligible for Social Security benefits on her own record (retirement and disability), the Windfall Elimination provision, or WEP, may affect her benefits. If your wife is eligible for a pension not covered by Social Security and is also eligible for Social Security benefits on a spouse or former spouse’s record (spouses and widows), the Government Pension Offset, or GPO, may affect her benefits. Check out our Information for Government Employees web page for details.

  3. Don W.

    How do I obtain a copy of my mother’s Social Security 1099 for 2020? She passed away in May 2020 and we did not receive on in her mail.

    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Don. The SSA-1099 is mailed in January to the last address in our records and is intended for the spouse or executor of the deceased. If you do not have access to the mail at that address, the executor will need to call the local field office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. Lisa P.

    My spouse and I were born in 1955 and 1957. We each qualify for benefits on our own earnings record. I will reach my FRA sooner than my spouse will reach his. If I collect my benefits at my FRA and he delays his until age 70, will my spousal benefit be 50% of the benefit he would have received at his FRA or 50% of his benefit based on when he actually retires

    • Vonda

      Hi Lisa, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. We will always pay your own retirement benefit first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, the spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount (not his reduced benefit amount or increased benefit amount). So, you can only receive additional spouse’s benefits if your own full retirement benefit is less than half of your spouse’s full retirement benefit.

      Check out our Benefits For Your Spouse web page for additional details.

  5. CREW

    My situation should be very simple but I have not been able to get a copy of my sister’s SS 1099. She is legally blind and I am her POA and was told by an employee of Social Security that I should be able to get a copy mailed to her address. She doesn’t remember that it was delivered in her mail in January or February. I desperately need it so I can get her income tax information to her Tax preparer.

    • Vonda

      Hi Crew. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to obtain a replacement 1099. You also may be able to request a replacement SSA-1099 by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a replacement SSA-1099. We hope this helps.

  6. Mark

    Good afternoon, is the receipt of unemployment benefits authorized under the CARES act counted as income for SSI purposes? Thanks for your consideration.

  7. Miriam S.

    How long does it take to process an application for Social Security retirement benefits? I will be turning 65.

  8. Bianca G.

    2007-2014 I was a co-owner of our family cafe. I was never paid an income of any profits or an hourly wage. I filed taxes on my gratuities. My mother was in charge of all financial and taxes. She was not recording my work credits. Can I get those recorded? I was not aware my whole career wasn’t documented. Help, please.

    • Vonda

      For your security, Bianca, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  9. David H.

    Where does SSA get the income amount from when calculating the penalty for earnings over the maximum allowed while receiving benefits? Does it come from a box on my W-2? A line number on my 1040?

    Thank You!

    • Vonda

      Hi David, thanks for using our blog. When we figure out how much to deduct from your benefits, we count only the wages (Box 3 of W-2) you make from your job or your net profit if you’re self-employed (Schedule SE). We include bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay. We don’t count pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, veterans, or other government or military retirement benefits.

      After you retire, you may receive payments for work you did before you started getting Social Security benefits. Usually, those payments will not affect your Social Security benefit if they are for work done before you retired. Check out our factsheet Special Payments After Retirement for more details.

  10. Peggy A.

    What form would my son fill out if the SSA does not recognize his correct birth date? He knows he has to send in his certified birth certificate and he already has a SSA card issued to him.

Comments are closed.