Q: "Do I need a Social Security card? I want to get a summer job and my dad can't find my card."
A: If you know your number, you probably don't need to get a card. If you find out that you do need a replacement card, you can download and complete the application for a replacement at our website.
Then, take or mail the application to your local Social Security office with the required documentation. The Web address is www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. If you get a replacement card or find the original, you shouldn't carry it with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.
Q: "I just got back from an overseas military deployment and I want to plan ahead. How will my military retirement affect my Social Security benefits?"
A: Your military retirement won't affect your Social Security benefits at all. You can get both. Generally,
there is no offset of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement. You will get full Social Security benefits based on your earnings.
The only way your Social Security benefit might be reduced is if you also receive a government pension based on a job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes. You can find more information in the publication Military Service and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.html. Or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Q: "I'm retiring early at 62. I receive investment income from a rental property I own. Does investment income count as earnings?"
A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you're self-employed. Nonwork income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits.
Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax.
You can retire online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Get answers to your Social Security questions each Thursday from the Social Security District Director Martin Coffey. Submit questions by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org