Users of website declare their independence
With Independence Day right around the corner, now is a good time to free yourself from the need to visit your local Social Security office.
Go to www.socialsecurity.gov to take care of important matters. What will you find there? For starters, you will find just about anything you want to know about Social Security.
Save yourself a trip by applying for retirement benefits online. Get started with your application at www.socialsecurity.gov/r&m2.htm. Or first, estimate your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/calculators.htm.
Have limited income and resources? Learn how to get extra help with the costs of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage at www.socialsecurity.gov.prescriptionhelp.
Read about qualifying and applying for disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/d&s1.htm. Or qualify and apply for survivors benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/ww&os2.htm.
If you have Medicare coverage, you can get a replacement Medicare card by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/mediinfo.htm. Or learn all about direct deposit - how to set it up or change your account info - by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/deposit.
You even can find fun facts such as a list of the most popular baby names at www.social security.gov/OACT/babynames .
Social Security offers a list of online publications that will help save you time and effort. Take a look at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/index.html to see a list. Most of the publications have been translated into Spanish, and the most popular publications have been translated into 15 different languages. You can find the translations by visiting our Multilanguage Gateway at www.socialsecurity.gov/multilanguage.
Also at www.socialsecurity.gov you'll find the answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions. You'll find answers to questions about Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and even Medicare. How do you get a Social Security card for your newborn? You can find out online. Want to know about benefits? It's there.
So declare your freedom from traffic jams and long waiting times. Save a trip to the office. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov.
Iris Geene is manager of the Social Security office in Prescott.