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.
- Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.
Editorial: Court ruling helps control inmate trial costs
Who pays the costs when the prisoner commits another offense while in prison? And who pays when the prisoner appeals the case to a higher court?
Viewpoint: Politicians creating instability in public schools
I will begin this correspondence by stating I have known hundreds of educators from across the state of Indiana. There are a couple of fibers that commonly run through the character of most of these great people, educators truly care about kids, and they do not fear a fair and equitable evaluation.
- Editorial: Honor 12-year-old's memory by practicing bicycle safety The thought of getting outside and enjoying warm weather sustains many Madison County residents during long, cold Indiana winters. For some, bicycling in the neighborhood, along trails or out in the country is a favorite warm-weather pastime.
Viewpoint: Academic standards process a model for other states
The State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt Indiana College and Career Ready standards at a special meeting on April 28.
- Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.
- You Said It: About financial woes, cold weather, and mother reunited with baby Each Monday, The Herald Bulletin publishes “You Said It,” a compilation of reader comments from www.theheraldbulletin.com coupled with responses by the newspaper’s editorial board.
Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist
When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.
- Editorial: Taking a moment to remember the good Easter is a good time to take stock of all the positive things happening in our community. Here are just a few things worth celebrating.
- Viewpoint: Resources are available to prevent child abuse The word "courage" is often associated with the fight against child abuse. Front line victim advocates have long recognized the need for courage in order to protect victims. Behind the scene advocates need courage to fight for funding and attention to the cause.
- More Opinion Headlines