You Don’t Need A Magic 8 Ball To Find The Answers To Your Questions

February 16, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

picture of an 8 ballSometimes, finding answers to your questions on government websites can feel a lot like asking questions of a Magic 8 Ball™. That’s not the case with Social Security’s frequently asked questions.

In 2015, Social Security won the “ClearMark Award of Distinction” for best plain language websites and documents from the Center for Plain Language for our redesigned Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) website. We continue to improve our communications to provide you with clear, helpful information and easy access to our services.

We recently narrowed down our FAQs from more than 500 to less than 200. The newly revised FAQs are more clear and concise. You come to our website for immediate answers, not a long drawn out experience. We’re all busy, right?

Social Security wants our online content and our communications with you to be accurate and easily accessible. We want you to locate the information you’re looking for faster than a magician could wave his wand. We are constantly searching for ways to improve navigation throughout our online presence and use feedback from your comments and suggestions when making changes to our website.

Visit our new FAQ home page to find the answer to your question. We promise that with our award-winning site, you won’t get the result reply hazy, try again later. When it comes to getting an answer, you’ll find out that your outlook is good.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Lettie

    I applied for a Social Security retirement benefit and Medicare at the same time in early December 2020. I was told that due to a state retirement pension, my SSA retirement benefit will need to be recalculated. Fine, I knew that could happen. But I have not received any word about my Medicare benefit.
    It has been 7 weeks and every time I call SSA the person says he does not know when Medicare will be approved, but I should try calling Medicare. Medicare says that SSA makes that decision, so I need to call SSA. The run-around is getting old.
    I am the right age, I am a US citizen, and I have paid Medicare taxes for well over 10 years. Who or what office of SSA can get my Medicare benefit approved? My current medical insurance expires in 10 days. Not having health insurance during a pandemic tends to terrify me.
    Why does a state pension delayed SSA retirement benefit recalculation delay a Medicare benefit? Are the two actions even remotely connected? My spouse applied for a Medicare Only benefit on the same day I did, and had a Medicare decision in 3 weeks. Where do I go from here?

    • V.V.

      For your security, Lettie, 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. Please call your local Social Security office. 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. thomas J.

    I was told to get SSA-44 online and complete as required. I have not found a way to see the form so I can copy it.
    Any suggestions?

    • V.V.

      Hi Thomas, thanks for using our blog. To report a Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life-Changing Event, complete and return form SSA-44 to your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Patty D.

    Can I withdrawl my 401k to pay off my house? And not interupt my Social Security payments.

    • S.D.

      Hi, Patty, Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. A withdrawal from your 401K should not affect your gross Social Security benefit amount. However, the 401K withdrawal may increase your Medicare premiums, which may then reduce your net Social Security benefit. This could occur due to the Medicare Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which requires people with higher incomes to pay more for Medicare. Any increase in your premiums should not occur until two years after your 401K withdrawal, and the increase may only last one year. For more information, check out our Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries web page.

  4. Stephanie

    I’m was wondering if you could receive SSDI and also SSI at the same time? Also a friend was asking could her disabled so get SSDI if his father is paying child support? Thank you so much for your time.

    • V.V.

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for using our blog. If you have low income and limited resources, you may be able to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, on the other hand, are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For more information on the difference between Social Security disability and SSI, check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page.

  5. Katharine G.

    I was.married 03/03/2020. How can I get SS name change so I can get new drivers license and passport?

  6. Sylvia E.

    “If your ex-spouse’s birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your ex-spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits. ” Could you clarify this statement a bit confusing.

    • V.V.

      Hi Sylvia, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. If you are eligible for benefits both as a retired worker and as a spouse/ex-spouse, you must apply for both benefits and you’ll receive the higher of the two benefits. This requirement is called “deemed filing” because when you apply for one benefit you are “deemed” to have also applied for the other.

      However, if you turn 62 before January 2, 2016, deemed filing rules will not apply if you wait to file at your full retirement age or later. This means that you may file for either your spouse’s benefit or your retirement benefit without being required or “deemed” to file for the other. See our Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits FAQs web page for details.

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  8. Emanuel S.

    can i create an account for my spouse who needs her 1099 was form to file for taxes for her and her brother who incapacitated mentily she is his tutor. what can be done?

    • V.V.

      Hi Emanuel, thanks for your question. You can only create an account using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You cannot create an account on behalf of another person or using another person’s information or identity, even if you have that person’s written permission.

      Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to request a replacement SSA-1099. Your wife 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.

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