By Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Question: I’m planning to retire next year. I served in the Navy back in the 1960s and need to make sure I get credit for my military service. What do I need to do?
Answer: You don’t need to do anything to apply for the special credit for your military service — it is added automatically. For service between 1957 and 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record at the time you apply for Social Security benefits. For service between 1968 and 2001, those extra military service credits have already been added to your record. So you can rest assured that we have you covered. Read our online publication, Military Service and Social Security, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.html. And when the time comes to apply for retirement, you can do it conveniently and easily at www.socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.
Question: I have been getting Social Security disability benefits for many years. I’m about to hit my full retirement age. What will happen to my disability benefits?
Answer: When you reach “full retirement age” we will switch you from disability to retirement benefits. But you won’t even notice the change because your benefit amount will stay the same. It’s just that when you reach retirement age, we consider you to be a “retiree” and not a disability beneficiary. To learn more, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Question: I applied for disability benefits, but was denied. I’d like to appeal. Can I do it online?
Answer: Yes. In fact, the best way to file a Social Security appeal is online. Our online appeal process is convenient and secure. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal to appeal the decision. For people who don’t have access to the Internet, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment to visit your local Social Security office to file your appeal.
Question: I am receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can my children receive dependent’s benefits based on my benefits?
Answer: No. SSI benefits are based on the needs of one individual and are paid only to the qualifying person. Disabled children are potentially eligible for SSI, but there are no spouse’s, dependent children’s, or survivors benefits payable as there are with Social Security benefits. For more information, see our publication, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Simply type the title of the publication in the publication search box on the left side of the page. You also may want to read Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI), available at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm. For even more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Question: Is it true that if you have low income you can get help paying your Medicare premiums?
Answer: Yes. If your income and resources are limited, your state may be able to help with your Medicare Part B premium, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts. State rules vary on the income and resources that apply. Contact your state or local medical assistance, social services, or welfare office, or call the Medicare hotline, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and ask about the Medicare Savings Programs. If you have limited income and resources, you also may be able to get help paying for prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778) or visit any Social Security office. Also, see our publication, Medicare (Publication 10043), at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html. For even more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.