Social Security, for most people, is a retirement income program. Although that is somewhat true, Social Security is much more than that. Apart from offering monthly benefits to retirees, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers survivor’s benefits, disability benefits and runs a health insurance program (Medicare) as well. You would have likely heard about these services, but you may not be aware of many other useful services that SSA offers. In this article, we will detail the special services offered by Social Security.
Special Services Offered By Social Security
SSA offers several special services to help people manage pressing medical, family and financial issues. The following are the special services offered by Social Security:
Covering Cost Of Prescription Drugs
Yes, SSA does offer health insurance, known as Medicare, to take care of hospital stays and medical costs. Additionally, it can also take care of prescription drug costs.
We all know that you can get registered in Medicare Part A and B with Social Security, but not many know that you can also join Medicare Advantage plans (formerly Medicare C) or Medicare Part D.
The Medicare Advantage plan offers coverages related to Part A and B, as well as prescription drugs and other benefits such as vision, hearing and dental.
Medicare D, on the other hand, helps to cover the extraordinary costs of prescription drugs. Additionally, some may also be eligible for “Extra Help,” including covering the cost of premiums, deductibles, and more related to Medicare Part D
Help For Domestic Violence Survivors
It is well known that Social Security offers spouse and survivor benefits, but in special cases, the SSA can help domestic violence survivors as well.
SSA rarely assigns a new Social Security number to an individual, but it can make an exception in the case of domestic violence victims. Women who relocate to a new location and plan to start a new life can apply for a new Social Security number.
Free Interpreter Services
If someone is having language issues in managing their Social Security, they can ask for free interpreter services from SSA. The interpreter services can be provided over the phone or in person at a local Social Security office.
Yes, the SSA can help you with baby names as well. Every year, parents provide SSA with their child’s name and other details to receive a Social Security number for tax purposes. This results in loads of data with SSA on popular baby names.
Expectant parents can easily view this information. They can even filter the popular baby names by birth year, state or decade.
Expedited Disability Claims
It could take months or even years to get a Social Security disability claim. Such a wait could prove disastrous for someone with severe or worsening illnesses. To address such issues, the SSA offers a Compassionate Allowances program.
This program expedites the claim related to 266 serious medical conditions. So, any Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications related to the 266 listed conditions qualify for approval within days.
Social Security recipients usually manage their own benefit payments, but some may not be able to do so. This could be because of cognitive disorders, developmental disabilities, minors, or other reasons.
In such a scenario, the SSA has the authority to appoint a representative payee to manage the beneficiary’s Social Security. The representative payee will receive the beneficiaries’ benefits and use it to take care of the beneficiary.
Usually, the SSA appoints a family member or friend as the representative payee. As of December 2021, 7.5% or about 4.9 million Social Security beneficiaries had a representative payee.
International Social Security agreements
This service benefits Americans working in foreign countries and foreign nationals working in the United States. Such people may be subject to dual payroll taxation, i.e., paying the retirement systems in both countries.
To avoid this, the SSA has agreements with 30 countries to ensure people pay payroll taxes to only one country’s retirement system at a time. Moreover, these agreements allow such workers to pool employment credits earned in more than one country to ensure they qualify for the benefits no matter where they claim it.
Proof Of Income
You need to show proof of income when applying for a loan, or any government benefit like SNAP. Usually, people refer to their tax returns to get proof of their income. A much easier way to get proof of income is to visit your My Social Security service account, provided your income includes Social Security benefits.
You can easily view and download your benefit verification letter from My Social Security service account. This letter serves as proof of your income.
Additionally, you can also use the My Social Security service account to view your earnings history, current or future benefits, order replacement or Social Security card, and more.
Benefits For Grandchildren
If you have a minor grandchild and provide at least half of the minor grandchild’s financial support, that child could collect dependent or survivor benefits when you retire, become disabled or die.
If you are already on Social Security when the child comes into your custody, then you need to legally adopt the child to ensure the child qualifies for your benefits.
To qualify for the benefits, the minor child’s parents must be deceased, disabled or unable to regularly contribute to child support.
The SSA offers several calculators to help people get answers to a lot of retirement related questions, such as, when should I stop working? How much should I contribute? How much money do I need for retirement? There is a Life expectancy calculator and more.
Visit the SSA website for more information on the special services offered by Social Security.