Money: Social Security Connection

Answers to readers’ questions.

| April 2009

Question: Can I apply for Social Security benefits online, or do I have to go to my local Social Security office to sign up? – L.S., Kansas

Answer: You can file online for retirement and disability benefits at


Question: I’m currently receiving Social Security benefits. I’m getting married soon, and will need to change the name on my Social Security card and make sure everything is in order so my benefit checks don’t stop coming. How do I do this? – I.R., Iowa

Answer: You should change your name on your Social Security card as soon as possible after getting married. Applications are available online or at any Social Security office. Upon completing the application, you will need to return it to your local Social Security office in person.

When a name change is requested, Social Security requires two forms of identification. You will also need to provide the original marriage license, as well as your driver’s license. Photocopies are not accepted; the documents must be the originals.


Question: I’ll be eligible for Social Security benefits in two years. When I mentioned to a friend that I was curious what my benefit amount would be, she told me that my Social Security statement should give me a close estimate.

What is a Social Security statement, and how do I get one? – R.S., Nebraska

Answer: Social Security statements are mailed to everyone who files income taxes three months before his or her birthday. If you didn’t get one in the mail, you can request one online at, or by calling 1 (800) 772-1213.


Social Security Connection  

To contact the Social Security office, call, toll-free, 1 (800) 772-1213, or visit the Web site at



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