Keep Your Identity Safe
If you use an online application to do your taxes, you can now log in with your username, password and a third personal item like a phone number. Using all 3 will keep your identity and data safer.
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must file a paper return.
Make Payments To The Federal Government
Learn how to use Pay.gov to make secure, electronic payments to government agencies from your checking or savings account. You can use the online service for VA medical care copayments, U.S. district court tickets, U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariner user fee payments, and more.
If you need help, contact Pay.gov customer service.
Who Can Help Me Apply For Benefits
Submitted by Deanna on Wed, 07/28/2021 – 13:44Deanna’s Blog
The Social Security Administrations disability programs offer monthly support to help you cover your bills, living expenses, and medical costs.
Benefits are often available to dependents as well and can keep your family above water even when a serious medical condition stops you from working.
While the disability application process is long, involved, and can be confusing for some, applying for benefits is well worth the effort. If you need help applying for disability benefits, you can get help with your claim from various sources, so you dont have to go through the process alone. Attorneys, advocates, family members, doctors, and SSA representatives can help you when filing for disability.
If you are unable to work because of a medical condition and you plan to apply for disability benefits form the Social Security Administration , you may need help to get through the process.
Many people need help during the claims process, and you can get help from someone throughout the process. You can enlist the help of a disability advocate or an attorney, or you can have a friend, relative, or caregiver get your application together and filed.
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How To Help Someone With Their Social Security When Poas Dont Work
Thats reason for concern if youre a friend or family member of someone who struggles to manage their Social Security 100% on their own. How do you help someone with their Social Security issues if the SSA wont accept a POA?
Essentially, anyone who wants to assist someone receiving Social Security benefits who needs help will have two options:
Lets look at each option in more detail:
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
Understanding Your Responsibility A A Representative Payee Report
The SSA requires that a representative payee file an annual accounting called the Representative Payee Report. This report details what you, as the representative payee, have done with the beneficiarys funds during the previous year.
If you have kept accurate records of the beneficiarys funds over the course of the year, the report will be very easy to fill out. Commingling funds, or not keeping accurate records of expenditures, can lead to an incredible headache when it comes time to file the report. And not filing the report at allcould lead to your removal as representative payee.
So who can become a representative payee? The Administration maintains a list of preferred individuals. This list is in their preferred order of representative selection.
Option #: Become A Representative Payee
The second option is applying to become a representative payee. This program is specific to the Social Security Administration, and it allows an individual to manage the Social Security payments of a beneficiary who is incapable of managing his or her own Social Security.
Thankfully, this option is nowhere near as burdensome as applying for guardianship. This is the best solution! It is faster, free, and doesnt come with all of the encumbrances of a court appointment.
The steps to becoming a representative payee is as follows:
Here are the instructions that the Social Security gives to their technicians in deciding who the payee will be:
Each payee application must be reviewed and evaluated individually to determine the best payee. All applicants must be carefully screened and considered before a selection is made to ensure that the beneficiarys best interest is served. In determining the best payee choice, consider all factors, including the applicants relationship to the beneficiary, the applicants interest in the beneficiarys well being and whether or not the applicant has custody of the beneficiary.
Once you are approved as a representative payee, you should receive the publication titled A Guide For Representative Payees.
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If You Suspect Someone Is Using Your Sin Or Have Been Victim Of Fraud
If you suspect that someone else is using your SIN, act quickly to help prevent personal loss and minimize the negative impact.
An indication that your SIN is being used fraudulently could be if the Canada Revenue Agency sends you a Notice of Reassessment concerning undeclared earnings. This may mean that someone has used your SIN for employment purposes or to receive other taxable income.
Here are some key steps to follow:
Ask each credit bureau for a copy of your credit report . Obtain information about having a fraud warning be placed on your file, instructing creditors to contact you personally before opening new accounts in your name .
To obtain credit:
Power Of Attorney Is Crucial For Seniors And Their Caregivers
Elder law attorneys emphasize medical and financial powers of attorney as the starting point for most caregivers and seniors for good reason. A POA document authorizes a specified individual to legally act on behalf of another person . Without these legal preparations, caregivers would have no way of effectively advocating for their care recipients should they become incompetent.
POAs are not necessarily infallible, though. There are different ways of writing these documents that can change the specific actions an agent can legally take on a principals behalf and when their powers begin and end. If POA documents for health care and finances are not written very carefully, caregivers can encounter problems when trying to use them to manage seniors care.
When power of attorney documents are being prepared, whether they name you as an agent or you are appointing an agent of your own, have an informed conversation with the attorney who is assisting you. Ask lots of what if questions to find out what authorities this document grants and what powers it does not. Specifically ask what criteria must be met for the agent named in the POA to be able to act on the principals behalf.
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Can I Apply For Disability For Someone Else
Yes, you are able to apply for disability for someone else. Like for example, if you are a parent applying on behalf of a child with a disability or a caregiver applying on a loved ones behalf because they cannot do it themselves.
If you are filing for disability benefits for someone else, you should have make sure whoever you are applying for, their information to be up to date, such as all of their medical paperwork and work records if you are applying for SSDI benefits on their behalf.
If you have any further questions regarding what paperwork you need or any specific questions regarding the application process, you can also seek the counsel of a disability attorney who can help with the filing process as well.
Is Having A Standard Power Of Attorney Enough For Medicare
Having a standard power of attorney isnt enough when it comes to Medicare or Social Security. Standard power of attorney allows you to handle most of the finances but, it doesnt allow you to make health care choices. Yet, making healthcare decisions is necessary when if they become incapable.
You need an advanced directive to make medical choices. But, medical choices are different than Medicare or Social Security changes.
There are different forms for various changes or decisions you would want to make on behalf of another. Lets take a look at what youll need.
Payee Preference List For Adults
When you determine that the beneficiary needs a representative payee, select the best payee available from this list of preferred applicants:
Can I Call Social Security On Behalf Of Someone Else
Use SSA Resources
You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-772-1213 or you can stop by your local office. Someone else can apply on your behalf and the SSA will follow up with you to obtain signatures and consents for filing your claim.
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How To Request A Social Security Card With A Different Name
The steps to update your card after a name change are similar to those for applying for a card in the first place. You’ll need to fill out the Social Security Administrations Form SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card and gather supporting documents to prove your age, identity, and citizenship status.
Form SS-5 is a one-page form with 18 items. Most of these items should be easy for you to complete. This form can be printed and filled out by hand or filled out on a PDF form and then printed.
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
Power Of Attorney Might Not Be Enough
Depending on what you need, a durable power of attorney, or representative payee may be the solution. Pay attention to what tasks you need to handle this will benefit you when looking for forms. You can always contact Medicare and Social Security to better identify the form you need.
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How To Become The Decision
The law requires Medicare recipients to write a form permitting them to handle personal medical information. If they cant give consent, the personal representative can fill out the .
When you complete this form, you should gain access to:
- Personal health information from healthcare providers
- Health plans, including Medicare
Information can come from getting a paper copy, or by visiting an online portal.
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Theres No Such Thing As A Social Security Power Of Attorney
John Ross explained that there is no Social Security Power of Attorney. Powers of attorney are creations of state law and vary wildly from state to state, Ross added.
Since the federal agencies like the SSA do not want to have to separately review POAs based on both the facts and circumstances of their creation and the various state laws that may be applicable, these agencies have taken the position that they will not accept a POA under any circumstances,said Ross.
He explained that the Social Security Administration developed federal regulations related to incapacitated beneficiaries of federal programs and established criteria under who the agency will deal with. Since federal law trumps state law, he added, there is nothing an agent under a power of attorney can do to alter this structure.
Documents To Include With Form Ss
Once youve completed the form, youll need to gather the documents youre required to submit along with it to prove your identity, age, and citizenship statusthose of the person youre applying for a card on behalf ofor both. These documents typically include the following:
- An original birth certificate or other permissible proof of age, such as a passport, final adoption decree, or religious record of birth.
- An unexpired drivers license, passport, or state ID card to prove your identity, or if you dont have one of those, a military ID, employee ID, or another identity card.
- Additional evidence of citizenship, if you are not submitting a birth certificate or ID. If you arent a U.S. citizen, you’ll need evidence of immigration status.
The Social Security Administration will only accept originals or copies that are certified by the agency that issued the original. You cant use photocopies, even notarized ones.
If you plan to mail your documents to the Social Security Administration, get a certified copy of your driver’s license from your state department of motor vehicles instead of sending the original.
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Know The Signs Of Identity Theft
You may not know youre a victim of identity theft until youre notified by the IRS of a possible issue with your return.
Be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if:
- You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
- You cant e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security number.
- You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
- You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
- You get an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
- You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didnt work for.
- Youve been assigned an Employer Identification Number but you did not request an EIN.
Work Closely With Your Doctor
Your doctor is a primary partner in not only your medical care but also your disability application. He or she can review the Blue Book listing with you, help you gather evidence, fill out forms, and submit required records.
The SSA will likely request information and records directly from your doctor too, so be sure to communicate openly with your physician about your disability application and request his or her assistance as needed.
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Medical Evidence Necessary For A Coma Disability Claim
When you apply for benefits on behalf of someone in a coma, the SSA needs to see certain medical records. These records are outlined in the introductory paragraphs of Section 11.00 and include:
- A medical history report, including the underlying or concurrent medical condition that caused the coma
- Physician reports or notes from physical and neurological examinations
- Any lab results that are relevant to the applicants condition
- Imaging results, which may include x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or EEGs, among others
In addition to medical evidence, the SSA must examine the functional capacity or residual effects of an applicants medical condition before deciding eligibility. When a coma or PVS is the reason for filing, the SSA can immediately see the person is disabled.
When you apply on behalf of someone that has recently awoken from a coma however, the SSA must review the physical and/or mental limitations the person faces, as well as any physical, occupational, speech, or other therapy your loved one will require in an effort to regain functional abilities.