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Monday October 22, 2001

Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


News Release

Social Security Offers Spanish Language
Immediate Claims Service

(Aquí en Español)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today, that Spanish language customers may apply for Social Security retirement or survivors benefits immediately when they call the Social Security Administration's national toll-free 800 number (800-772-1213).

Certain callers will be able to file directly over the phone on their first contact with SSA without having to make an appointment or visit an office. To file an immediate claim, individuals should have certain documents in-hand when calling such as their birth certificate, their most recent W-2 form or tax return and bank account information.

"At the Social Security Administration, we are committed to providing the public with choices in the way they want to conduct business," stated Acting Commissioner Larry G. Massanari. "We recognize that the public wants choices and we will always be there for people who wish to be served on the telephone or face-to-face in our offices."

Individuals will still have the option to set up an appointment. They can call SSA's national toll-free 800 number to schedule a phone interview or a face-to-face interview. Of the more than 3 million people who applied for Social Security retirement or survivors benefits last year, almost 2 percent (62,000 people) preferred to deal with the Agency in Spanish.

Earlier this year SSA launched two new Spanish language Internet pages.

The Agency’s Spanish language website, Seguro Social, Información en Español – – averages about 10,000 visitors a month.

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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: A fact sheet is available here.

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