Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Social Security Scams Persist

SSA
In Alabama, hundreds of people collecting Social Security benefits are dealing with scammers, WHNT reports. Fraudsters are working hard to mine personal information from beneficiaries in an attempt to cash in on victim's benefits. The trend isn’t unique to individuals living in Alabama, in fact; in early June the Social Security Administration released a warning about impersonators using phone calls, emails, and other methods to obtain people’s personal information.

Given the importance of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in people’s lives, it is crucial that beneficiaries do everything in their power to protect the personal information. Phishers typically use the phone as a means of harvesting Social Security Numbers, addresses, and dates of birth from unsuspecting persons.

 If you are receiving suspicious phone calls from people claiming to work for the administration, you should take action immediately to protect your account.


SSA Impersonation Schemes


Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director, writes that citizens should report suspicious activity to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report. While the SSA may contact beneficiaries in certain situations, there are questions that such representatives would never ask; never provide SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are confident of to whom you are speaking. It is always better to err on the side of caution than risk losing access to your benefits.

“Be aware of suspicious calls from unknown sources, and when in doubt, contact the official entity to verify the legitimacy of the call,” said Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone. 

In some circumstances, beneficiaries will answer the phone to hear an automated recording stating that their Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity.” The recording tells the listener to call a number to resolve the issue, or their assets will be frozen. This is a scam!

Contact your local Social Security office or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, to verify the legitimacy of any email, letter, text or phone call—claiming to be from SSA or the OIG.


SSDI and SSI Attorney


Navigating the process of applying for Social Security benefits can be complicated and confusing; it is always sound to have a legal expert in your corner. If your application for SSI or SSDI was denied, please contact Attorney Driscoll for guidance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SSI Electronic Wage Reporting

SSI
Last month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) gave beneficiaries the capability to exercise greater control over their time. Applying for and maintaining access to vital SSA benefit programs is a time-consuming process that can place enormous burdens on a person's life. Getting all of your ducks in order to ensure that you continue to receive financial support can be onerous, and it may involve several trips to SSA field offices; travel expenses can add up quickly and the administration has sought to address the problem.

People who work and rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are required to report their gross wages to Social Security. The agency asks that SSI beneficiaries consistently report wages during the first six days of the month to avoid overpayments and underpayments. Naturally, you can report wages by visiting, calling, or writing your local Social Security Office. All three of the above options can be time-consuming.

The SSA now offers a fourth option, using the my Social Security online portal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and deemors, concurrent beneficiaries, and representative payees can report wages electronically.

SSI Electronic Wage Reporting


Electronic wage reporting is a feature that Social Security Disability Insurance recipients already had, it makes sense that SSI beneficiaries have the option too, considering that people are often eligible and rely on both SSDI and SSI. The SSA writes:

“This new application makes it possible to avoid visits to a field office to report wages in person. However, users must still contact an office to report when they first start working for each new employer. It’s also important to note that representative payees are able to report wages, but won’t have access to beneficiaries’ or recipient’s other information. When you sign up for or log in to your my Social Security account, you’ll have access to this convenient application on your desktop, laptop, and mobile device. After you report your wages online, you can save or print a copy of your receipt.”


SSDI and SSI Attorney


The Driscoll Law Corporation can help anyone who has had their SSI or SSDI application denied or who are applying for benefits for the first time. The process can be challenging to understand, and it helps to have an advocate in your corner. Please contact our office today!