Due to increasing service demands and instances of fraud, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will cease two services at their offices beginning February 2014. Starting next month, you will no longer be able to request a benefit verification letter or a Social Security number printout at your local office.
Benefit verification letters serve as proof of the government benefits you currently receive. Because this information is now available instantly online at the mySocialSecurity portal (www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount), the SSA found it unnecessary to also provide the letters at its offices. The benefit verification letter may be necessary when filing for other benefits or signing up for disability programs provided by local governments, community services, or private organizations.
An increase in identity theft and Social Security fraud has led to the discontinuation of Social Security number printouts offered at your local Social Security office. Now, if you need proof of your Social Security number, you will need to request a replacement card. Social Security offices will still be able to process the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) as long as you bring the supporting documentation. The form can also be completed and mailed with your original supporting documents to the address provided on the form.
The SSA is moving to a more automated, online system for benefit verification and application. Even with better online technology, some claimants with disabilities may not be able to complete online forms or have access to a computer to submit their disability benefit application. Further, the online forms do not check for accuracy of information or errors that may delay the application or lead to denial of a claim.
At LaVan & Neidenberg, P.A. we put a personal touch on each Social Security disability claim we handle by working one-on-one with each of our clients. When you need help beyond the SSA's online systems, contact us today for a FREE consultation with a disability claims specialist – 888-234-5758.
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