Dealing with Social Security
Tips for One-Stop Customers and Staff
- Develop a good relationship with your local Social Security office.
- Arm yourself with information:
- Learn about the various programs, and develop an understanding of the impact of employment on benefits.
- Use the Social Security publications as resources. Do not rely exclusively on what the Social Security representatives tell you verbally. Some Social Security representatives deal mainly with retiree benefits, and only sporadically with disability benefits, and therefore their knowledge may be limited.
- Do not assume that the information that Social Security has is correct. The income information they have for individuals can be inaccurate, particularly for individuals whose income is inconsistent from month to month. Miscalculations can often occur if an individual gets paid every other week, and Social Security calculates monthly income from a month when the person received three paychecks (i.e., the first, third and fifth weeks).
- Discuss the best method for reporting earnings with the local Social Security office. This is particularly important if a recipients earnings vary from month to month. SSI & SSDI beneficiaries should keep good records concerning work history, wages (pay stubs), and benefits received.
- Make and keep copies of everything sent to the Social Security Administration. Send important letters (e.g., appeals) certified letter, return receipt requested.
- Keep a written record of all phone calls to the Social Security Administration - who you spoke to, date and time, information given and received. Always follow up any substantive phone conversations in writing.
- Respond quickly to all letters from the Social Security Administration
- If an individual goes into the hospital, and will be in for at least a month, the Social Security Administration should be notified immediately to help preserve benefits.
- An individual has the right to appeal any decision that the Social Security Administration makes.
- Up to 60 days are allowed to file an appeal
- If you appeal within 10 days of receiving notice, the SSI/SSDI check will not be affected.
The following is a Sample form letter to obtain benefit information from social security. It is suggested that this be mailed to the local office along with a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Dear Social Security Representative:
The Any County or Town One-Stop Career Center is providing employment services for the individual listed below. We are requesting that you provide us with the following information concerning the benefits for this individual. Attached is an authorization for release of the information from the individual and payee.
Please complete and return in the enclosed addressed and stamped envelope. Thank you for your cooperation.
Employment Counselor Any County or Town One-Stop Career Center
Social Security #:
Under which program is this beneficiary currently receiving benefits?
______ Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) ---- Monthly Benefit Amt. $ _____
______ Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) -------- Monthly Benefit Amt. $ _____
Form Completed By: _________________________ Date: ________________
Title: ___________________________ Office: ____________________
AUTHORIZATION FOR RELEASE OF INFORMATION
I give permission for the Social Security Administration to disclose to Any County or Town One-Stop Career Center the information listed above.
Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___________
Signature: _________________________________________ Date: ___________
Institute for Community Inclusion