published Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Social Security: This Halloween don't be spooked by the Internet

By Gregory Holmes
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    Gregory Holmes, district manager for Social Security

Don't look now, but it's Halloween today — a time for kids of all ages to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. But it is also a time of visiting haunted houses and watching those scary horror films. Think of the movies that frightened you the most, and they usually have an element of fear of the unknown.

Doing business online may also needlessly frighten people. When it comes to Social Security, however, there is nothing to be spooked about. We take all the fear out of doing business online.

There are a number of things you can do online at, and none of them should send so much as a shiver down your spine. Save yourself a trip to a Social Security office and transact your business from the comfort of your home. No need to be afraid to go online; it's so easy and safe to do business at

Here are just a few of Social Security's online services you can easily access from the convenience of your home or office computer:

• Apply for retirement, disability, or Medicare benefits.

• Find out what benefits you might be eligible to receive.

• Setup a my Social Security account so you can access and update your information anytime.

• Apply for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug costs.

• Estimate your future benefits

• Appeal an unfavorable decision on a disability claim

• Change your address

• Report employee wages.

You'll find our online services are frighteningly easy to use. Save your fears for the monsters on television or the costumed creatures knocking at your door. Don't be afraid to visit

Gregory Holmes is the district manager for the Social Security office in Chattanooga.

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