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Social Security and You: Columnist Turns a Molehill Into a Mountain

Several readers shared with me a story that ran in many newspapers around the country headlined: "Social Security Hell." It relayed the story of the columnist's ongoing efforts to correct the date of birth in his 98-year-old mother's Social Security records.

On the surface, it seems like it should be something simple to do. But the columnist ...Read more

Social Security and You: The Problems With Running a Disability Program

Several readers recently sent me copies of a news story that appeared in papers around the country. The author of that piece criticized the Social Security Administration for not updating a listing of jobs that benefit applicants might be able to do instead of going on the government dole collecting disability benefits. (The law says that a ...Read more

Social Security and You: Be Prepared

I got an email from a woman who had recently filed for widow's benefits. She was writing to tell me that the process went very smoothly, and her benefits started within weeks of her application. She said one of the reasons things went so well is that she had done her homework and was prepared with all the information the Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: Turning Full Retirement Age in 2023? Consider Filing for Benefits This Month

Turning Full Retirement Age in 2023? Consider Filing for Benefits This Month

I write a column like this one every January, but I don't mind plagiarizing myself because it contains a very important message for people planning to retire in 2023.

January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Update for 2023

It has been my custom for most of the past 25 years to write a year-end column that summarizes the Social Security changes and updates scheduled to take place the following year. I already discussed some of these changes in a column back in October when the updates were first announced. But it doesn't hurt to repeat them here.

Almost all Social...Read more

Social Security and You: Agency Puts Lump of Coal in Seniors' Stockings

Just last week, I wrote a column in which I passed along my ideas for a holiday gift for senior citizens. One is a booklet published by the Social Security Administration called "Fast Facts and Figures." It's a short booklet (about 40 pages) crammed with fun and interesting tidbits about the Social Security program. Just Google "Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: My Holiday Gift Ideas for You

My holiday gift guide doesn't include a box of chocolates or tickets for a Caribbean cruise. This is a boring old Social Security column, after all, so my gift suggestions are related to that government pension program. Near the top of my list is my absolute favorite Social Security publication. Called "Fast Facts and Figures About Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Your Right to File a Claim for Benefits

Here is the bottom-line message of this column: If there is any doubt or question in your mind about your eligibility for any Social Security benefit, insist on filing a claim for that benefit. You have every right to do so. Now, let me explain this in more detail.

I hear from readers all the time who tell me they talked to a Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: Give Thanks for Social Security

Around this year's Thanksgiving holiday, I'm going to suggest that we Americans give thanks for the Social Security program. I know lots of people like to think that the "good old days" (before Social Security) were, well, good old days. But many times, they were not. And if you'd like to get a glimpse of what life was like before the Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Happy Birthday, SSI!

I was playing one of my morning online word puzzles when up popped a little blurb from a senior citizen advocacy group announcing that the Supplemental Security Income program has recently turned 50 years old. I'm sure most people who see a reference to SSI would say something like "Supplemental Security what?" And that's because SSI is not very...Read more

Social Security and You: Don't Overthink Social Security Starting Date Questions

I frequently get emails from readers who turn a little molehill of an issue into a big mountain of a problem, and it has to do with the starting date for their Social Security benefits. The Social Security retirement application asks a question that goes something like this: "Which month do you want your benefits to start?" Way too many folks ...Read more

Social Security and You: Rules I Can't Explain

I really get upset when readers tell me that they talked to a Social Security Administration employee hoping to get an understanding of some confusing Social Security rule and the only reply they got was this: "It's the law." In my opinion, that's a bad answer. People should be given a reason why a particular Social Security law exists in the ...Read more

 

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Dan Wasserman Scary Gary A.F. Branco Agnes Brian Duffy Barney & Clyde