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Social Security Online
Social Security Update
October 2010
In This Issue:

Turning 65? Apply Online for Medicare

New Rules Put Disability Applications on the Fast Track

Website Serves Wounded Warriors

New Teleservice Center in Tennessee

Coming in 2011: New Celebrity Spokesman and Great New Ads

Turning 65? Apply Online for Medicare

Baby Boomers: Apply Online for MedicareBaby boomers approaching age 65 need to keep Medicare eligibility in mind.

People already receiving Social Security retirement benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare at 65.  But as many older workers delay their retirement beyond age 65, they’ll need to apply for Medicare to ensure they’re covered. To learn about the Medicare program, visit www.Medicare.gov

Applying online for Medicare is fast and easy – it takes as little as 10 minutes! Going online means there’s no need for an appointment or a trip to a local Social Security office.

To apply online for Medicare, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.

New Rules Put Disability Applications on the Fast Track

Fast Track for Disability ApplicationsIn October, Social Security published new rules that will further reduce the time it takes to decide applications for disability benefits from people with the most severe disabilities.  These new rules, which take effect November 12, will help the agency process all cases more efficiently as they will give medical and psychological consultants more time to work on complex cases where their expertise is most needed.

Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/fast-track-disability-process-pr.htm.

Read the final rules, 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416, in the Federal Register at www.regulations.gov

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Website Serves Wounded Warriors

Website Serves Wounded WarriorsOn November 11, we honor our Nation’s veterans for their service to America. What better time than now to tell your clients about the many benefits and the wealth of information Social Security has available for veterans and military personnel?

In September, the agency published final rules about the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act. The HEART Act does the following:

  • Treats most cash military compensation as earned income for SSI purposes, which generally provides a higher benefit to the service member as a result of the SSI program's more favorable consideration of earned income;
  • Excludes certain State annuity payments to disabled, blind, or aged veterans from countable income and resources used to determine SSI eligibility; and
  • Excludes any cash or in-kind payments provided by AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps from countable income.

Social Security makes it easy to get information about benefits for wounded warriors. The place to go is www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

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New Teleservice Center in Tennessee

New Teleservice Center in TennesseeThis week, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, joined Congressman John Tanner and local officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for the agency’s newest teleservice center in Jackson, Tenn. — the first call center opened by Social Security in more than a decade. When completed, it will create almost 200 new jobs for residents in the Jackson area.

“The new Jackson call center will help us further improve service to the millions of Americans who call our toll-free number,” Commissioner Astrue said.

Social Security is working closely with the General Services Administration to speed the process for building the new facility. The Jackson call center is expected to open by late 2011. For more information about our toll-free 800 number services, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/services.htm.

Coming in 2011: New Celebrity Spokesman and Great New Ads

Social Security: The Final FrontierWe are pleased to announce George Takei is teaming up with Patty Duke for a series of new public service announcements promoting Social Security’s website and online services.

Look for these super spots in 2011.  Until then, tell your clients to boldly go where many have gone before: www.socialsecurity.gov

 

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