Schedule SE, both of which are attached to his or her current federal income tax Form 1040. The self-employment tax includes both Social Security and Medicare payments. The IRS now sends a record of this Social Security tax payment to the SSA so that it can be added to the individual’s earnings history.

  • Service-provider companies offering accounting and payroll services can help their clients to comply with requirements for SSN verification and electronic wage and W-2 reporting. Employers and their authorized representatives can use the suite of services available now at the SSA’s Business Services Online site, http://www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.

  • Attorneys, advocates, and other third-party representatives can assist clients who have a variety of disabilities that might entitle them to SSA disability and income support benefits. Their primary services are to help beneficiaries negotiate the complex interactions between the SSA’s program rules and those of other federal agencies and state and local social services agencies. In most cases, clients have signed a power of attorney to recognized third-party representatives to represent them before the SSA to help ensure that they receive the full benefits to which they are entitled. Information for advocates, attorneys, and third-party representatives is now available at http://www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/thirdparty.htm and http://www.ssa.gov/thirdparties.htm.

  • In the future, a Social Security claims representative (CR) in a local field office could use a suite of electronic services to develop the required electronic evidence to support disability or retirement benefits claims as well as continuation of disability benefits. The CR typically obtains prior-year earnings and tax information from the Internal Revenue Service. The CR also needs to get information from a variety of state databases to ascertain proof of age, marriage, and relationship to pre-teen children in the family. Determining eligibility might also require information not currently readily available to the SSA. Automated tools to facilitate this process would help ensure that beneficiaries are more likely to receive the benefits to which they are entitled more quickly and with fewer chances of error. Currently, only parts of this process are done electronically.

  • A woman planning her wedding uses a wedding-related Web site with various “to-do” lists. She sees that, because she plans to change her name after she is married, she will need a new Social Security card in her married name. She uses a link on the site to go to www.ssa.gov and reads why it is important to get the new card now, finds a link to a form to fill out, and sees instructions on how to send or take the supporting documents to her nearest Social Security office. She downloads the “Application for a Social Security Card” (Form SS-5) from the SSA Web site available now at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html and begins to fill it out. Reading the instructions, she sees that she needs to show proof of citizenship, proof of identity, and proof of name change to the SSA, along with the completed form. She does not want to mail those documents to the SSA, so she uses the SSA Web site Local Office Search available now at https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp to locate the closest office. She realizes that she will have to leave work early sometime after her honeymoon so that she can take her marriage document, driver’s license, and Form SS-5 to the SSA office. In the future, if she could securely send certified, electronic copies of her SS-5 form to the SSA, along with sufficient identifying information pointing to her certified identification and name change documents, she could avoid making a trip to the local SSA office.



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