What Your Grandchild Can Teach You About Social Security

Everyone knows that if you have a digital dilemma, you should find a tech savvy kid to resolve it. Sometimes it seems these kids were born digitally connected, but they were the first generation to grow up immersed in technology.  You can reap the benefits from the computer capabilities of these techno tykes.  We celebrate National Grandparents Day in September.  Schedule a date with your grandchild to teach you to navigate the Social Security website.

Do You Know The Way To SSA?  Your grandchild can explain what a web address (www.socialsecurity.gov) is and show you how to type the address into an internet browser or click on a link to visit a page on the website.

Surfing The Site   Once you’re on the website, how do you get around?   What’s the difference between a left click and a right click?  What are links?  What are drop down boxes and how do you use them?  How do you use a search box? Once your grandchild has explained these basics to you, you’ll be ready to use the Social Security website.  At our website, you can find information and services for everything from planning your retirement to filing online to replacing your lost Medicare card.

Plan Your Retirement

Are you looking for a retirement estimate or for information about retirement benefits? If you don’t have a my Social Security account yet, your grandchild can help you navigate to the link to set one up (www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/ ).  My Social Security accounts provide a history of your earnings and retirement estimates at 62, your full retirement age and 70.  Be sure to examine your earnings history for accuracy because Social Security uses this record to compute your benefits.  To find additional information about retirement benefits, use our retirement planner (www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/ ).  The planner explains what happens if you work after you retire as well as what you should consider when deciding when to start receiving benefits.  Then when you are ready to file, you can do it online (https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib) in fifteen minutes.


Your Questions Answered

Are you trying to find how much a widow or widower could receive? Just click on the “Menu” tab at the top of the homepage and under “Benefits” click on the “Survivors” tab.   Next choose “Amount of survivors benefit” link.  You can also find the answers to questions asked about survivors benefits by clicking the “FAQS” tab at the left side of the homepage under the Menu tab.

Find Out What Benefits You May Receive

If you want to know what kind of benefits you may be eligible for from Social Security, type this link (http://ssabest.benefits.gov/) into the address bar of your computer.  This link takes you to the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST).  BEST screens for Medicare, Social Security Disability, Social Security Retirement, Social Security Survivors, Special Veterans and Supplemental Security Income.   It does not retain any personal information.  It uses your answers to determine benefit eligibility.

Read Our Publications

Whether you’re trying to get the facts about Retirement, Disability, Supplemental Security Income or Survivors benefits, we’ve got a publication that will help you learn about how the benefits work. Publications can be printed right from the website or read online.  You can even take Social Security along on your next walk or run by downloading a publication to your MP3 player.

Do Business Online

From the homepage, click on Online Services to learn what business you can do online. You can replace a Medicare card, request a benefit verification letter, change your address or phone, start or change direct deposit, get a replacement 1099 or check your benefits.  In certain states, (Arizona, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, or Wisconsin), you may be able to replace a lost Social Security card online.  This service will be expanded to other states later.

Research Baby Names

We’re saving the most enjoyable feature for last. Maybe your grandchild is expecting a new sibling and you can show them the Social Security Popular Baby Names page.  Use this link to access the webpage (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/).  Together you and your grandchild can look for names for the new baby or learn about the popularity of your grandchild’s own name.

So, if you are feeling challenged by using the internet, let your grandchild be your guide. In addition to getting your business done online, you’ll be developing the confidence of your grandchild.  Just think how proud they will be to say, “I helped Grandma (or Grandpa) do their Social Security business online today”.  Let them show you the way to Social Security online.