How Providing Race and Ethnicity Data Helps All Customers
We are continuously working to better understand how Social Security’s programs serve the public. Collecting race and ethnicity data for research and statistical purposes is one way for us to determine whether we are equitably serving the public. Your clients may voluntarily provide this information. It does not affect decisions on benefit applications.
Why does it matter if your clients provide race and ethnicity data?
When your clients choose to provide race and ethnicity information, it lets us know:
- Who our benefit payments and programs are helping and who may be left out.
- What unintended barriers may impact benefits and services.
- Where to expand outreach efforts.
- How to increase awareness of eligibility for programs and benefits.
In other words, race and ethnicity data can help expand access to our programs, which is one of the objectives in our Equity Action Plan at blog.ssa.gov/social-securitys-equity-action-plan. Examples of how we use this information can be found on our Racial Equity Resources webpage at www.ssa.gov/policy/about/racial-equity-resources.html.
Currently, we collect race and ethnicity information on applications for new or replacement Social Security number (SSN) cards. These applications can be completed:
Soon, parents may voluntarily provide this information when requesting their newborn’s SSN at the hospital. The option to provide this data will be available in participating states.
We encourage your clients to provide their race and ethnicity information on their or their child’s application for a new or replacement SSN card. This information will help us better serve our current and future customers.
Please share this information with your clients.
5 Things to Know When a Child with Disabilities Turns 18
When a child turns 18 years old, they legally become an adult. This is an important time for your clients to consider their financial future – especially if they need additional care into adulthood. Here are 5 things that you need to know to prepare for this milestone:
- Health and welfare decision-making.
- Changes in SSI eligibility.
- Education transitions.
- Supports for living arrangements.
- Financial protections.
For more details, please encourage your clients to check out our blog at blog.ssa.gov/5-things-to-know-when-your-child-with-disabilities-turns-18.
Visit Social Security Online This Holiday Season
The holiday season may give some of us a break from daily routines and the time to rest and relax. We want your clients to know that our online services are available to help them do business with us in an easy, convenient, and secure way. This season, encourage your clients to sign up for a personal my Social Security account.
A free and secure my Social Security account is your clients’ online gateway to our services. Creating an account allows your clients to:
- Check their Social Security Statement.
- Get proof of benefits.
- Get proof that they do not receive benefits.
- Verify their reported earnings.
- Estimate their future benefits and much more!
We are committed to protecting your clients’ personal information and benefits. That’s why we work with two credential service providers, Login.gov and ID.me to securely verify their identity to create their personal my Social Security account. We do this to protect their information.
When your clients create their personal my Social Security account, keep in mind:
- They must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, and have a Social Security number (SSN).
- They must provide a valid email address and some additional information.
- They will be redirected to our credential service provider’s website when they select “Sign in with Login.gov” or “Sign in with ID.me.”
- If they have a foreign mailing address, they must register and sign in with ID.me to access my Social Security.
- Once they create the credential, they will return to the secure my Social Security webpage for next steps.
Please have your clients visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to see all they can do with a personal my Social Security account. We wish you and your clients a safe and happy holiday season.
Please share this information with your clients.
Social Security Cards Are Safer at Home
Scams to steal your clients’ personal information are at an all-time high. That’s why it remains critical that your clients safeguard important personal documents like their Social Security card.
A Social Security card is not an identification document. In many situations, your clients only need to know their Social Security number (SSN). Please advise your clients that their physical card is not necessary for most business needs.
Do your clients need evidence for work? There are several documents they can use instead of their card. These include:
- Birth Certificate.
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt.
- Employment Authorization Document.
- Form I-94 or Form I-94A.
Your clients do not need to show their physical card to apply for certain benefits. Your clients can simply provide their SSN for benefits like:
- Health insurance.
- Food assistance.
Your clients should also know their physical card is not required as evidence for the Department of Motor Vehicles. The only state that requires a physical card is Pennsylvania. For all other states, other acceptable evidence includes:
- W-2 forms.
- Form SSA-1099.
- Non-SSA-1099 forms.
- Pay stubs.
Keeping their card at home reduces the risk of loss or theft – and helps your clients keep their information safe. To learn more about keeping their card and information safe, your clients can visit our Fraud Prevention and Reporting webpage at www.ssa.gov/fraud.
Holiday Local Social Security Office Closings
We want you to know that our offices and phone lines will be closed to the public on December 25 and January 1. However, your clients can still access and use our automated telephone services or our online services every day during the holiday season.
Please visit www.ssa.gov/onlineservices for a list of our secure and convenient online services. A list of our automated telephone services is available on our Contact Social Security by Phone webpage at www.ssa.gov/agency/contact/phone.html.