A co-worker recently found information about Social Security benefits for sale on a commercial website. Of course, the Social Security Administration provides this information for free. Official SSA information is online at www.socialsecurity.gov, available from the SSA national toll-free number (1-800-772-1213 / TTY 1-800-325-0778) and any SSA office.
Typing “Social Security” into any search engine provides many hits. Sections of the SSA official website are included in many of these. Others go to national organizations or locations espousing philosophical viewpoints about the Social Security programs. You can also find private commercial sites. Some of these for- profit sites clearly show that they have no connection but there are also those trying to make their advertisement look similar to the real Social Security website.
Be careful. Do not be tricked into paying a fee for a free service or information. For official Social Security information and services go to www.socialsecurity.gov. And remember: if not .gov, it is not the real Social Security website.
Updating a post from early April, online publications are available for you on the Social Security website. Specific publications vary, but many are available as an online audio download, a PDF file or in different languages.
Paper copies of publications are also available at no charge, including multiple copies of a publication. Selected publications are available in alternative media of Braille, audio cassette, audio CD or enlarged print.
You can easily request SSA publications without contacting a local office. Here is how:
Go to www.socialsecurity.gov and scroll down to Items of Interest. There you will see a Publications box. Click on it.
Contents at top of the publications page can be sorted in several ways including publication number or topic. Available electronic formats are shown for each publication. Click and choose as desired.
If you want paper copies of selected publications, click on the How to Order section at top of the publication page. Note that instructions for ordering alternative media are also in the How to Order section. Nocharge,