March is Women’s History Month.
The Social Security program treats all workers — men and women — exactly the same in terms of the benefits they can receive. But women may want to familiarize themselves with what the program means to them in their particular circumstances. Understanding the benefits may mean the difference between living more comfortably versus just getting by in retirement.
One of the most significant things women need to remember about Social Security is the importance of promptly reporting a name change. If you haven’t told us of a name change, your W-2 may not match the information in Social Security’s records and this could affect the amount of your future benefits. Not changing your name with Social Security also can delay your federal income tax refund. To report a name change, please fill out an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). You can get the form by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov, or any Social Security office or card center, or by calling Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You must show us certain identity documents, including one recently issued to prove your legal name change.
If expanding your family is in your plans, it’s a good idea to apply for a Social Security number for your baby in the hospital, at the same time that you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. Social Security will mail the card to you. If you wait, you must then separately provide evidence of your child’s age, identity and U.S. citizenship status, as well as proof of your identity. Then, we must verify your child’s birth record, which can add 12 weeks to the time it takes to issue a card.
When women start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members may be eligible for payments as well. For example, benefits can be paid to a husband:
◆ If he is age 62 or older; or
◆ At any age, if he is caring for your child (the child must be younger than 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits on your record).
Benefits also can be paid to unmarried children if they are:
◆ Younger than age 18;
◆ Between 18 and 19 years old, but in elementary or secondary school as full-time students; or
◆ Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).
The family of a woman who dies may be eligible for survivors benefits based on her work.
For more information about women and Social Security, ask for the publication, What Every Woman Should Know (SSA Publication No. 05-10127) or visit our special Women’s page online at www.socialsecurity.gov/women.
Charo Boyd is Social Security public affairs specialist for east central Indiana. Her column appears every other Monday on the Business page.
March is Women’s History Month.
- Editorial: AU President Edwards cultivates common ground It would be difficult to find a person in Madison County more highly regarded than Anderson University President James Edwards, who recently announced he will step down from his post by the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
- Viewpoint: Stop the Mounds Reservoir project Shortly after moving to Muncie in 1992 my family and I visited Mounds State Park. We have since visited many times each year. We have delighted in the bountiful spring wildflowers, from the fascinating skunk cabbage found in east central Indiana's best preserved fen, to the elegant blood root and beautiful hepatica.
- Editorial: Hoodie policy reasonable but could be misconstrued Mounds Mall's "lower your hoodie" policy is an understandable safety measure, but the signs announcing it could be worded better to avoid the interpretation that a specific group is being targeted.
- Letter: New interstate project a waste of money When I first heard about it, I said, "They're gonna do what?" A lake right in the middle of Anderson. Now comes another Republican waste of money and time. A new interstate exit and entrance on Scatterfield Road.
- Letter: All humans never free of wickedness When in our history — 1610 to today — have we "turned from our wicked ways?"
- Editorial: Keep guns off school property At times, it seems like this nation has gone overboard in its gun legislation.
- Viewpoint: Residents should work together for a better Anderson Will someone please explain to me how a group of people that meet and complain, insult, and attack those attempting to do their best, and then issue threats to the same, could possibly be doing so in the name of progress or problem resolution?
- Editorial: City must follow through on west side promises The city of Anderson should do everything in its power to not disappoint residents over renovations on the west side.
- Letter: Deniers ignoring catastrophic storms They say you live and learn, but on Wednesday, Feb. 26, I saw a letter to the HB editor in which a guy was so oblivious to the facts about climate change, I really felt embarrassed for him.
- Letter: Restrictive laws, taxes drove out business It appears that Rebecca Lane has bought into socialistic agenda, "turn Americans against Americans," in this case "middle class against rich." (THB, Feb. 27)
- More Opinion Headlines