Question: I'm thinking about getting a disability insurance policy from a private company. If I become disabled and have a private policy, would it reduce my Social Security disability benefit?
Answer: No. Your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is not affected by any private insurance you may have. However, worker's compensation and certain other public disability payments may affect your Social Security benefit.
Question: I run a small business and I am hiring a few employees. How can I recognize a valid Social Security card?
Answer: There are more than 50 different valid versions of the Social Security card. Although there are several versions of the card in circulation, all prior versions of the card are valid. The number is what is most important. The best way for you and other employers to verify a name and Social Security number is to use the free Social Security Number Verification Service. Once you register for Business Services Online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ bso, you can start using SSNVS. SSNVS allows you to quickly verify whether a person's name and number match Social Security's records.
Question: How do I apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits?
Answer: The best first step is to start at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability. Then take a look at the Adult Disability Starter Kit. This kit answers common questions about applying for benefits. It includes a worksheet that will help you gather the information you need.
Then, fill out the online Adult Disability Report at www.socialsecurity.gov/adultdisabilityreport. At the end of the report, we will ask you to sign a form that gives your doctor permission to send us information about your disability. We need this information so we can make a decision on your claim.
Finally, complete your application for SSI disability benefits by calling our toll free number (800-772-1213) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may choose to apply for benefits either by phone or in person at a local Social Security office.
Question: How do I obtain a copy of the form, Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs?
Answer: If you wish to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs, the best way is to use our online application at www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020. Keep in mind that this application does not enroll you in a Medicare prescription drug plan; you'll need to enroll directly with an approved Medicare prescription drug provider for coverage, which you can learn more about at www.medicare. gov or by calling 800-MEDICARE. If you are already enrolled, visit www.socialsecurity. gov/i1020to learn whether you're eligible for Extra Help and to complete and submit the application.
Rebecca Miller is the manager of the Social Security Administration office in Wheeling.