Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries
You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.
How Do I Prove Income For A Cash Advance Loan
Your lender may require documented evidence of your income before approving a loan. The evidence may include any of the following:
- Bank statements
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Unemployment benefits
- State or local assistance based on need
You can contact Customer Service at the Social Security Administration and your state or local governments for detailed information about resources available to you.
The Direct Express Card may be useful to folks receiving federal direct express emergency cash. The Direct Express Card is an SSI debit card designed for direct deposits of federal benefits. Unlike a prepaid debit card, the Direct Express Debit Card requires you to have a bank account to receive your direct deposits.
The Social Security Administration Gives You Three Ways To Request A New Social Security Card
There are several ways to request a new card: in person, online or through the mail. If you meet the requirements, doing it online may be the easiest way, but if you need to request a new card through the mail, the administration says not to send original primary documents that you should keep in your possession, such as your driver’s license, your passport or your immigration documents.
Also, documents must be originals or copies certified by the agency that issued them. The administration won’t accept photocopies or notarized copies.
If you’re getting a new card in person or sending your documents by mail, make sure to also fill out Form SS-5 .
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How To Sign Up For A Social Security Debit Card
You can sign up for the card at your local Social Security office or by calling the Direct Express card enrollment center at 333-1795. Representatives of payees can sign up the same way.
Once you sign up, your Social Security benefits will be paid directly to your Direct Express card account for you to access each month.
Who Is Eligible For The Social Security Debit Card
Anyone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits is eligible to use this card.
Because its a prepaid debit card, you can only use your Direct Express Social Security debit card if you have funds in your account. Once youve spent or withdrawn your entire account balance, youll have to wait for your next monthly disbursement to use your card again.
You cannot deposit personal funds onto the card. You must open a separate bank or prepaid card to deposit personal funds.
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Exceptions To The Rule
Your Social Security benefits might be at risk if you owe any of the following:
- Federal income tax.
- Federal student loans.
- Delinquent child support and/or spousal support.
If you receive your benefits via paper check, your Social Security income might be vulnerable as well.
Even under the exceptions above, Supplemental Security Income is off-limits for garnishment or a bank levy unless you were overpaid and the Social Security Administration is correcting an error.
The Internet Is Alive With Theories About Social Security Numbers And Their Meaning Or Use Despite The Governments Attempts To Debunk The Myths
The Social Security Act was passed in 1935 long before computers. So that the civil servants tasked with maintaining the files could do so in an orderly way, a system was devised to more easily catalogue Social Security Numbers and allocate numbers around the nation.
However, just like with the symbols on a dollar bill the ether world is rife with theories about what the numbers on a Social Security card signify. Some think they are for nefarious purposes, while others could get you into legal trouble.
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When And Why You Need A Social Security Number
Anytime you get hired for a new job, your employer will ask for your Social Security number. Your employers accounting department will use this number to report your income to the Internal Revenue Service and to report your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration.
Your employer will also use it for state income tax reporting unless your state doesnt have an income tax. Employers who participate in E-Verify, a program to make sure employees can legally work in the United States, also must obtain your Social Security number before you can begin work.
Below are some other common scenarios where youll need to provide your Social Security number.
Which Documents Do I Need To Have To Get A New Social Security Card
Whichever way you do it you’ll need documents to prove your citizenship, age and identity.
Proof of US citizenship: This can be your birth certificate or a US passport. This documentation is only required if you haven’t already established citizenship with the Social Security Administration.
Proof of age:A birth certificate is best, but if you don’t have one, the Social Security Administration may accept a religious record made before you turned 5 years old, a US hospital record of your birth or a US passport.
Form of identification: This can include your US driver’s license, US passport or state-issued non-driver ID card.
If you don’t have any of these documents, the Social Security Administration may accept one of the following:
- Employee identification card
- Health insurance card
- US military ID card
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Social Security Numbers Used For Racial Discrimination
The claim that businesses, universities and banks can tell an applicants race based on their Social Security Number goes back to at least to 1999.Snopes.com looked into this at the time but the myth, like the former, made a comeback during the pandemic on one of the favorite platforms for spreading false information, Facebook. The Social Security Administration, aware of the myth, why they think the idea came about.
Posts on Facebook claimed, as over 20 years ago, that the fifth digit of your Social Security number indicated your racial identity. According to the myth, if the fifth digit of your Social Security Number is an odd number then youre white and if it is even youre non-white. The Social Security Administration ventures that this is because the fifth digit is in the series of numbers referred to as the group number. The agency points out that when applying for a Social Security Number it is voluntary to mark on the form what ethnicity you relate to.
#mySocialSecurity is a secure account that puts you in control with access to your information from anywhere and on any device. Verify your earnings, manage your benefits, request a replacement Social Security card, and much more. Open your account today!
Snippets Issue: Replacement Social Security Cards Phishing Tricks And A Phony Neighbor In Need: Internet Scambusters #734
How much should you pay for a replacement Social Security card?
Nothing it’s free. But that doesn’t stop some websites offering to do it for $30, as we report in this week’s Snippets issue.
We also have reports on a couple of new phishing tricks, a phony neighbor in need and a fake fashion discount website.
Let’s get started…
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They Can Use Your Ssn To Receive Medical Treatment Under Your Insurance
Medical records typically lay out a patients complete identity, according to CNBC which means that if theres a breach affecting healthcare systems, hackers can do a lot with what theyve stolen. That includes accessing your medical insurance.
Weisman said scammers can incur large medical bills in your name that might not be covered by your medical insurance. In that case, youll be hounded by collection companies for payment. This will definitely hurt your credit score.
Pro tip: Weisman said you need to stay on top of your medical records. Just as you should regularly check your credit report, you also should regularly check your medical records to make sure that there are not mistakes, he said.
Today, most medical providers have online records but not all do. Ask your provider how best to review your records.
Beware The Social Security Earnings Test
Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test for annual income, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test no longer applies, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.
Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.
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The Claim: A Social Security Card Can Be Used To Pay Off Debt And Make Purchases
As online scams continue to thrive amid the pandemic, an old hoax about Social Security cards containing account and routing numbers recently resurfaced on social media.
A May 20 Instagram post with more than 2,000 likes claims a Social Security card is really a credit card linked to your Treasury account, which “permits you a Federal ‘Exemption'” to discharge bills through credits issued on behalf of the government.
“In a sense Their credit is ‘Digital Gold’ that can be utilized to Fund your daily purchases, which can then be discharged through your Exemption Account via 18 USC 8!” the post asserts.
Accompanying the text is a screengrab of a Google search result showing Cornell Law School’s definition of the term “card issuer.” Below the definition is an image of the front and back of a Social Security card with “ACCT. #” and “ROUTING #” displayed in a large red text.
Actor Wood Harris a similar version of the claim to Instagram on May 20 in the form of a TikTok video, in which a man says: “So I’m sure people have heard about the numbers on the back of their social security cards being tied to a federal reserve bank. This is absolutely true.” The original TikTok video was shared on Feb. 28 and has more than 800,000 likes.
In a message to USA TODAY, the TikTok user claimed only “some” Social Security cards are tied to a Federal Reserve Bank and allow debit purchases. “The purpose was to show an account of the sort existed though not freely accessible,” he said.
Which Card Issuers Should You Try If You Don’t Have A Social Security Number
If you have an American Express card in another country, you are able to log into your account and take advantage of a service known as the American Express Global Card Relationship Program to look at your choices for a US card. As long as your overseas Amex card account is in good standing, you could be a shoo-in for a US-based card.
Citibank doesn’t offer the smooth experience that American Express does, but it does allow you to put in a request to have them consider your overseas Citibank card history or account history for a card in the US. You’ll need to have a well-established relationship with the bank in another country to take advantage of this program, which is called Citibank Global Banking.
Other banks have limited offerings when it comes to applications without Social Security numbers. Bank of America and Chase both offer card products to applicants who only have ITINs, but they require good credit scores.
If you’re an international student or a professional worker in the US, or if you are on a work visa, you can apply for a Deserve EDU Mastercard or Visa. They have options for Students with no credit history, ITIN, or Social Security number. They also offer credit cards for people who are in the US on a work visa or new immigrants.
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A Loophole That Created A ‘loan’ From Social Security Was Closed In 2010
It was once possible to start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62, the earliest possible age, and later, at the age of 70, repay all the money you’d received from the Social Security Administration . You could then refile for benefits as if you’d never gotten a single check.
Because you were now older, the amount of your monthly check would be higher. All the cash you had received over the years from the SSA was like an interest-free loan from the government.
That loophole was closed in 2010 so you can no longer “borrow” money from the SSA.
If you file for benefits before age 70, you now have only 12 months after you start receiving payments to suspend them until a later date. If you do decide to suspend your benefits, you must still repay the money you have received.
Your Monthly Social Security Benefits Increase The Longer You Wait To Claim
You can collect Social Security benefits as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before your full retirement age means a permanent reduction in your payments of as much as 25% to 30%, depending on your full retirement age.
If you wait until you hit full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits, youll receive 100% of your earned benefits. But you can also get a big bonus by waiting to claim your Social Security benefits at age 70 your monthly Social Security benefit will grow by 8% a year until then. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you don’t forgo those by waiting.
Waiting to claim your Social Security benefits can help your heirs as well. By waiting to take her benefit, a high-earning wife, for example, can ensure that her low-earning husband will receive a much higher survivor benefit in the event she dies before him. That extra income of up to 32% could make a big difference.
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Theres A Social Security Spousal Benefit
Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. One spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s Social Security benefit. For example, if your monthly Social Security benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s own benefit is only worth $500, your spouse can collect a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — bringing in $500 more in income per month.
Just as the benefit based on your own work history is reduced if you claim it early, the same is true for a spousal benefit. That 50% figure is the maximum amount that only a spouse who is at least full retirement age is eligible for. Taking the spousal benefit early at, say, age 62, reduces the amount to as little as 32.5% of the higher earners benefit. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.
They Can Use Your Ssn To Get A Drivers License In Your Name
When asked for a photo identity, you are likely to whip out your drivers license. It is accepted as proof of who you are, where you live and how old you are. So if an identity thief is able to obtain a drivers license in your name, it opens many fraudulent doors.
To get a drivers license, you generally have to pass a written test, a driving test and an eye exam, and provide your name, address and SSN. A hacker might be able to get a drivers license in your name without you even knowing it.
Pro tip: If you believe that your name and Social Security number were used to obtain a fraudulent drivers license, immediately contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Warning signs could be traffic tickets issued in states you have never visited or warrants for your arrest you know nothing about.
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Check The Social Security Administration’s Math
Your statement includes a record of the earnings on which you’ve paid taxes and an estimate of the benefits you will receive at various retirement ages: 62, 67, and 70. It is always wise for you to check the SSA’s numbers. Don’t be surprised if you uncover an error. Some government-watchers estimate that the SSA makes mistakes on at least 3% of the total official earnings records it keeps.
When you check your record, make sure that the Social Security number noted on your earnings statement is your own, and make sure the earned income amounts listed on the agency’s records mesh with your own records of earnings as listed on your income tax forms or pay stubs.
Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
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