Top Questions You Asked About Social Security In 2017

Many of you asked the same or similar questions about Social Security during 2017 (and continuing into 2018). I thought I would bring those topics together in one place.

1) The most frequently asked question was about the scheduling of Social Security and SSI payments. We have an easy-to-use Fact Sheet which shows for all of 2018 when the Social Security and SSI checks are due. You can find the Fact Sheet at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031.pdf or for greater ease, I have put it on the homepage of this site under the Blog Roll:  Social Security & Supplemental Security Income Check Schedule (scroll down to the bottom of the homepage on the right side).  For your convenience, you could bookmark or Save to Favorites either of these locations for your future reference.  Each yea,r we will publish a new schedule of benefit payments.  You can always find when your check is due at www.socialsecurity.gov.

2) Local Social Security Office Hours and Location of Local Social Security Office was the second most requested topic.  You can do business online with us (see https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ for what services are available).  We also offer some automated services by phone.  Using these services for general information can get your questions answered faster than waiting to reach a representative on a busy day.  (I will be publishing an article about our automated services later .)  Our toll-free number is 1-800-772-1213 from 7 A.M. to 7P.M. wherever you are in the United States.

You can use the find an office locater service on our website at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.  Just type in the your zip code and the office closest to you will be shown. The locater shows the address, and hours.  You can even see a map with directions.

3)  You also asked about changing your direct deposit for your payment.  Here is the page on our website that discusses direct deposit of payments https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/ .

If you already are receiving benefits, you can create a my Social Security account and start or change Direct Deposit online. You also can sign up at your bank, credit union, or savings and loan.  Or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).  Don’t close your current account until your payment has gone to the new account at least once.  If you close the old account too soon (before we’ve processed the new bank account information), your payment will be returned to Treasury and will have to be re-issued. That will cause a delay for you in receiving your payment.  Please allow at least 60 days for the change from one financial institution to the new financial institution to occur.  (Leaving your old account open until it goes into the new account for the first time, ensures that your payment has a place to go and that you can receive it.)

4)  You also asked about whether or not the check for the month of death is due.  Social Security benefits are paid for the previous month (the check you receive in February is for the month of January).  If you lived throughout the entire month (past midnight of the last day of the month) you are eligible for the check.  Your family would need to return any RSDI checks received in March (for the above example if you died before the last day of February).  Supplemental Security Income is paid for the current month.  Social Security will reclaim any SSI payments paid for months after the month of death.

5)  You also asked about Voluntary Tax Withholding.  Since it is tax season, that is a very timely topic.  With passage of the new tax law, two of the voluntary rates have been changed in 2018.  Previously, the set tax rates were 7%, 10%, 15% or 25%.  Currently, the pre-determined  tax withholding rates have been changed to 7%, 10%, 12% or 22%.

To change your withholding rates, you can complete IRS Form W-4V.  You can find it at this link:  www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4v.pdf.  Sign the form and return it to your local Social Security office by mail or in person.  Use this link to locate the address for your local office:  https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

That rounds out the top five most frequently asked topics for 2017.  On Friday, I’ll review and update several more requested topics from 2017.  You can always visit www.socialsecurity.gov for information about all your Social Security questions.