Social Security: Correspondence

Social Security correspondence

In organizing our important documents, this Social Security correspondence post concludes the first category of File Box 3. 🙂

Along with our annual statement(s), identification card(s), photocopy of identification card(s), and photocopies of all checks paying self-insurance tax, the last set of documents is all Social Security correspondence.

Social Security Correspondence

When you enroll for benefits (disability, retirement, etc.), file a claim, make changes to your record, or contact the Administration, keep a record of your correspondence.

Though I have not needed these benefits for my family, I know more than a few families who receive Social Security checks.

Keeping pay stubs and correspondence noting benefit amounts will save you time and energy at tax time.

Weekly Project: File all Social Security correspondence.

If you have not contacted the Administration, then your file is complete. In filing all our Social Security documents, we need to celebrate. Enjoy the accomplishment of using time wisely.

If you are still working on organizing these documents, then don’t give up. Your efforts are not in vain. Go at your own pace, but keep moving forward. Happy organizing!

Question: What additional Social Security documents would you add to this category?

Social Security: Self-Insurance Tax Records

Social Security documents

Continuing in File Box 3 of our important documents, the first category holds our Social Security annual statement, identification card, and photocopy of our identification card.

If you are self-employed, then you want to save and file your self-insurance tax records.

Self-Insurance Tax Records

If you are self-employed and you pay health insurance premiums, then keep copies of checks or records of automatic bank transactions for each payment.

With the changing laws and health insurance premium deductions, these records will confirm your contributions at tax time.

In the event you are audited, you will need solid proof of each payment.

Weekly Project: Locate and file copies of your bank statements or checks for each health insurance premium payment.

If you are not self-employed, then take note of this information in case you become self-employed in the future.

Keeping records from the start will save you energy and time. But in using time wisely to gather these documents, you will save money, energy, and time in the event your company gets audited.

With your Social Security documents gathered, verified, and filed, your Social Security category is almost complete. Next week, we will complete this category.

As you continue organizing your important documents, you are saving future money, energy, and time while using time wisely. Happy organizing!

Question: Are you self-employed paying health insurance premiums?

Social Security: Photocopy Your Identification Card

Overview of File Box 3With a busy schedule, I understand how your document organization gets shoved to the side. I get it!

With homework, laundry, meals, soccer, dishes, and family activities, you need a little reprieve. Take heart, this week’s project will only take about 5 minutes. 😉

Working within File Box 3 in the first category of Social Security documents, we have filed our annual statement for each family member and our identification card for each family member.

If you are still waiting on these documents or are correcting, then work where you are.

Photocopy Your Identification Card

When you get your identification card, I recommend keeping 2-3 copies of each card in your file box or notebook. You will need to give a copy of your Social Security card to your employer to accurately report your earnings on your W-2 Wage and Tax Statement.

Weekly Project: Make a copy of each family member’s Social Security Identification Card.

Protect Your Identification Card

Tracy’s Soap Box: This topic of identity theft is near and dear to me. 

Stepping up on my box, I want to help you. Your Social Security number is your private number. In the wrong hands, you will spend more time than you can imagine getting your identity cleared.

When asked for your Social Security number, challenge the reason for the information.

I do not give my number to my doctor’s offices. Yes, they like to use that information for identification, but I do not give the entire number. They may use the last 4 digits or a phone number or a date of birth.

There is one exception –  when the insurance company uses your Social Security number rather than an insurance identification number to file claims.

If the party requesting my Social Security number gives a good reason for needing it, then I make the decision to give or not give it. However, if the reason is only for identification, then I request another form of identification because they don’t need my Social Security number.

You may think this is extreme, but the documentation sent with your Social Security identification card states:

Some private organizations use Social Security numbers for record keeping purposes. Such use is neither required nor prohibited by Federal law. The use of your Social Security number by such an organization for its own records is a private matter between you and the organization. Private organizations cannot get information from your Social Security record just because they know your number.

Any Federal, State, or local government agency that asks for your number must tell you: whether giving it is mandatory or voluntary, its authority for requesting the number, and how the number will be used.

If the government has regulations as to how they use my number, then I hold the private sector responsible as well. When I fill out the documentation at the doctor’s office and hand the clipboard back to the receptionist, she may leave that document on her desk while she takes a break.

Though she cannot get information from my Social Security record, she may allow another patient visual access to my Social Security number. This is the problem I have with using my number for identification.

Lest you think this doesn’t happen, I was given a clipboard of documents as a new patient. In filling out the pages, I found someone else’s forms under my paperwork listing their medical, personal, and insurance information. Yeah! I gave the documents back right away with a comment expressing my concern regarding their privacy practices.

If you choose to use your Social Security number in the private sector for record keeping, then take heed to protect access to your private number – stepping down from my box. 😉

In using time wisely, protect your identity by keeping your Social Security Card in your filing system with a couple photocopies for those who need access to your number and benefits.

In organizing your important documents, we are over two-thirds complete. Happy organizing!

Question: What do you think about private organizations using your Social Security number for identification?

Social Security: Get, Replace, or Change Identification Card

Overview of File Box 3Working within File Box 3 and the first category of Social Security Documents, I have our social security annual statement, reviewed it, and corrected it.

If you are still in the correcting phase, then keep going. You are using time wisely staying proactive. 🙂

Social Security Identification Card

In addition to our annual statements, Paul and I have our Social Security identification cards along with each of our children’s cards within this first file opening.

If you have misplaced yours, the Social Security Administration indicates:

You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you may not need to get a replacement card. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important.

Though I understand their point, I want my file complete, so I replaced Paul’s when I could not find his original. Of course, after I had him request a replacement, we found the original. Now, we have two cards for Paul in our file. 😉

With the Social Security Administration posting instructions online, one can get, replace, or change an identification card by following the sequence:

1. Go to the Social Security Administration website.

2. Make the following 3 selections:

      • Adult or child
      • Original, replacement, or corrected

NOTE: Per the Social Security Administration website, You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits.  

      • U.S.-born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or non-citizen

3. Follow the 3-step process

      • Step Two: Fill out and print the Social Security form
      • Step Three: Take or mail the documents to the Social Security Administration

Tracy’s Tip: I am really funny about giving up my original documents. For me, I would take them to my local Social Security Administration’s office.

However, in using time wisely, you might consider mailing them. Just send the documents registered mail to get verification of receipt.

Also, do not mail them from your home. Protect your documents by mailing them at the post office or placed in a blue U.S. Postal Service mailbox. You don’t want your personal documents getting into the wrong hands.

As you organize your important documents, schedule the time to get, replace, or correct your Social Security identification card.

Weekly Project: Find and file your Social Security identification card.

The time to get it is before you need it. In using time wisely, locate your card or request one to place in your file. Happy organizing!

Question: Do you carry your Social Security card in your wallet? 

Social Security: Correcting Your Annual Statement

Insurance File - Box 2 of Important DocumentsWith your Social Security Annual Statement obtained and reviewed, you may find some inaccuracies.

Though I only had about 10 years of work experience when I first reviewed my statement, I found incorrect information.

Armed with documentation to prove the validity of my challenge, I took these steps to correct my Social Security Annual Statement.

Correcting my Social Security Annual Statement

Upon reviewing my Social Security annual statement, I found two amounts on Page 3 that failed to record my full Taxed Social Security Earnings from Box 1 on my W-2 statements. Armed with my Social Security card, my annual statement, and W-2 Wage and Tax Statements, I went to my local Social Security office.

When I arrived, I waited in a short line before seeing a representative at the counter. Upon showing the clerk the discrepancies, she took my forms to a back office. She then came back with my documents and said I would see the changes on my next annual statement.

Though I really wanted verification, which she could not provide, I left the office. The next year, I received a corrected Social Security Annual Statement.

During my interaction, the Social Security office did not accept phone calls, so I had to visit the office. Also, the information was not computerized, so copies were taken of my documentation and sent to headquarters for processing. Hopefully, the process for you will prove easier.

Correcting your Social Security Annual Statement

When you find a discrepancy on your annual statement, the Social Security Administration invites you to contact them via telephone or mail:

Call us right away at 1-800-772-1213 (7 a.m.–7 p.m. your local time) if any earnings for years before last year are shown incorrectly. Please have your W-2 or tax return for those years available.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

If you have questions about your personal information, you must provide your complete Social Security number.

If you are in the United States, you also may write to the Social Security Administration, Office of Earnings Operations, P.O. Box 33026, Baltimore, MD 21290-3026.

If you are outside the United States, please write to the Office of International Operations, P.O. Box 17769, Baltimore, MD 21235-7769, USA.

In using time wisely to correct your Social Security Annual Statement press on. Gather your documents, make the call, and proceed until your annual statement is accurate. Keep plugging along. Once completed, review your statement annually.

Hang in there! Your future benefits depend on you using time wisely now. Working along with you!

Question: Do you keep all your W-2 forms from your first job to the present?