published Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Social Security: New cards will follow move if post office notified

By Gregory Holmes
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    Gregory Holmes, district manager for Social Security

Q. 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?

A. 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 United States citizenship, or your lawful immigration status and authority to work. You can learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Q. I am nearing my full retirement age, but I plan to keep working after I apply for Social Security benefits. Will my benefits be reduced because of my income?

A. No. If you start receiving benefits after you've reached your full retirement age, you can work while you receive Social Security and your current benefit will not be reduced because of the earned income. If you keep working, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your survivors could receive. If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your earnings could reduce your monthly benefit amount. After you reach full retirement age, we recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Learn more about Social Security reading our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html.

Q. I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because I am elderly and have no income. My sister recently died and left me the money she had in a savings account. Will this extra money affect my SSI benefits? Will my SSI payments stop?

A. The money inherited from your sister is considered income for the month you receive it and could make you ineligible for that month, depending on the amount of the inheritance. If you keep the money into the next month, it then becomes a part of your resources. You cannot have more than $2,000 in resources and remain eligible for SSI benefits ($3,000 for a couple). Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to report the inheritance. A representative will tell you how your eligibility and payment amount might be affected.

Gregory Holmes is district manager for Social Security in Chattanooga

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