Q: "I'm expecting a baby this June. What do I need to do to get a Social Security number for my baby?"
A: You can apply for a number at the hospital at the same time you apply for your baby's birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child's information with us, and we will mail the Social Security card to you. You can learn more about Social Security cards and numbers by reading our online publication on the subject. Just visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html
Q: "I currently receive Social Security disability benefits. I now have a second serious disability. Can my monthly benefit amount be increased?"
A: No. Your Social Security disability benefit amount is based on the amount of your lifetime earnings before your disability began and not the number, degree or severity of your disability. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/dibplan/dapproval2.htm.
Q: "What can Social Security do to help me plan for my retirement?"
A: Social Security has tools you can use to make an informed decision about your retirement. Social Security's online retirement planner and our online retirement estimator are both tools you can access online.
These will let you compute estimates of your future Social Security retirement benefits. They also provide important information on factors affecting retirement benefits, such as military service, household earnings and federal employment. You can access our retirement planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2.
Find the retirement estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
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 emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.