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Social Security Administration Offers
New Service For The Deaf and Hard Of Hearing

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Wednesday November 28, 2001

Jim Courtney, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973


Social Security Online

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFERS
NEW SERVICE FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today that individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing may apply for Social Security benefits immediately when they call the Social Security Administrationís national toll-free TTY/TDD number, 1-800-325-0778.

"The Social Security Administration wants all Americans to have access to the services we provide," said Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart. "The agency will continue to develop and implement innovative technology that improves the services we deliver to the public."

People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing may immediately file for Retirement, Survivors, Medicare, and Lump Sum Death Benefits without an appointment. Callers may now dial 1-800-325-0778, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and file a claim for benefits using a TTY/TDD machine, which enables the person to communicate directly with a representative without the need for a local relay system. To file an immediate claim, individuals should have certain documents in-hand when calling such as their birth certificate, most recent W-2, military service DD214 and bank account information.

The paperwork completed by TTY/TDD during the initial contact application will be mailed to the applicant for review and a signature. The applicant may return the printed claim by mail or in-person to his or her local Social Security office. Along with the signed form, SSA also needs certain documents, such as a person's birth certificate and proof of citizenship or residency to establish eligibility for Social Security benefits. An applicant can either mail or take these items to Social Security.

For more information about Social Security and its programs, visit SSAís website Social Security Online -- www.ssa.gov -- or call 1-800-772-1213. People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: Additional information is available on our factsheet about Immediate Claims Taking.

Note: Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security information and statistics,
are available at SSA’s Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.ssa.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSA’s
free electronic newsletter, Social Security e-news.

SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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