By Rodney V. Taylor
Social Security Regional Commissioner in Atlanta
With the holiday season in full swing, ailment you may find yourself exploring those tempting online shopping deals.
The day after Thanksgiving has nearly become a holiday of its own. “Black Friday” is the busiest shopping day of the year, with people lining up at midnight for deals as they begin the busy holiday shopping season. The Monday after that has become a virtual holiday, pun intended. “Cyber Monday” is the day Internet-savvy people search for deals, all online.
But, there’s more than one way to find value on the Internet. For example, Social Security offers many online services to the public — and they’re free and secure! Doing business online with Social Security will also save time. Now that’s an offer you can’t refuse!
Here are some of the most popular online services you’ll find at www.socialsecurity.gov. Each site is safe and secure.
1. The online Social Security Statement is a hot service that is a big hit with the millions of people who’ve used it since its launch. Your online Statement provides you with a record of your past earnings, and it uses those earnings along with projected earnings for future years to give you accurate estimates of future Social Security benefits. Open your personal my Social Security account to get your Statement today. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/.
2. The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Just enter some basic information and the Estimator will use information on your Social Security record, along with what you input, to give you a benefit estimate on the spot. You can even experiment with different scenarios, such as changing your future earnings and retirement date. Check it out in English at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator or in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov/calculador.
3. The online Retirement Application is the most convenient way to apply for Social Security retirement benefits. You can apply from the comfort of your home — it’s convenient and secure. In fact, you can apply online in as little as 15 minutes. In most cases, after your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and, usually, no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. When you’re ready to retire, apply at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.
4. Business Services Online is our one-stop shop for small business owners. The site allows organizations and authorized people to conduct business with and submit confidential information to Social Security. Employers can use it to file W-2s for their employees the fast, convenient, and paperless way — online. Visit Business Services Online at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso.
Social Security’s online services continually receive the highest ratings in both the public and private sectors. Each site uses the highest security to keep your information safe. We have one of the top-ranking websites for plain language, so you can easily understand the features you’re getting — no fine print to squint over.
Learn more about all you can do online at Social Security on Cyber Monday, or any day, at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.