Q. Are Social Security numbers reassigned after a person dies?
A. No. We do not reassign Social Security numbers. In all, we have assigned more than 460 million Social Security numbers. Each year we assign about 5.5 million new numbers. There are over 1 billion combinations of the nine-digit Social Security number. As a result, the current system has enough new numbers to last for several more generations. For more information about Social Security, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Q. If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, what is the effect on my benefits if I work?
A. In most cases, your return to work would reduce your benefit amount. Unlike Social Security disability, there is no "trial work period" for people who get SSI disability benefits. If your only income besides SSI is from your work, you can earn up to $1,505 in a month (in 2013) before we stop your payments. We have several publications about SSI,
including Reporting Your Wages When You Receive Supplemental Security Income, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Simply type the title of the publication into the publication search box on the left side of the page. Note that there are other work incentives that can help you return to work when you receive SSI. You can read about them in What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. For more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Q. Is it true that if you have low income you can get help paying your Medicare premiums?
A. Yes. If your income and resources are limited, your state may be able to help with your Medicare Part B premium, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts. State rules vary on the income and resources that apply. Contact your State or local medical assistance, social services, or welfare office, or call the Medicare hotline, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and ask about the Medicare Savings Programs. If you have limited income and resources, you also may be able to get Extra Help paying for prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp. Also, see our publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Type the title of the publication in the publication search box on the left side of the page. For even more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Gregory Holmes is the district manager for the Social Security office in Chattanooga.