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Social Security Q&A Part 23

By Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Question: How much will I receive if I qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

Answer: The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live and how much income you have. The maximum SSI payment varies nationwide. For 2020, the maximum federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $783 a month and $1,175 a month for an eligible couple. However, many states add money to the basic payment. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.


Question: What is the average Social Security retirement payment that a person receives each month?

Answer: The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2020 is $1,503. The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2020 is $1,258. As a reminder, eligibility for retirement benefits still requires 40 credits (usually about 10 years of work).


Question: I recently applied for a replacement Social Security card, but I might be moving before it arrives in the mail. What should I do if I move before I get it?

Answer: Once we have verified all your documents and processed your application, it takes approximately 10 to 14 days to receive your replacement Social Security card. If you move after applying for your new card, notify the post office of your change of address and the post office will forward your card to your new address. If you do not receive your card, please contact your local Social Security office. To get a replacement, you will have to resubmit your evidence of identity and U.S. citizenship, or your lawful immigration status and authority to work. You can learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.


Question: I got married and I need to change my name in Social Security’s records. What do I do?

Answer: If you change your name due to marriage or for any other reason, you’ll need to report the change and get a corrected Social Security card with your new name. You will need to fill out Form SS-5. You can get a copy of this form by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc or by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You’ll also need to provide the original marriage certificate showing your new and old names. You can mail or take the documentation to your local Social Security office. In some cases, we may need other forms of documentation as well. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.