Social Security information is available for free
Q: I saw an advertisement for a publication about hidden ways to get more Social Security. Why should we have to pay to learn about a government program?...
Q: I saw an advertisement for a publication about hidden ways to get more Social Security. Why should we have to pay to learn about a government program?
A: There is no reason to do so. Free Social Security information is available on the agency website www.socialsecurity.gov , by calling the SSA national toll-free number, 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778), or by contacting your local office. Besides benefit information, the website has complete SSA legislative history and the instruction manuals used by SSA representatives. There is also an "open government" link at lower left of the homepage.
Organizations can request SSA speakers via the homepage "other useful links" section or by contacting me. Recently I saw an advertisement like the one you mentioned. One "secret" was child benefits, a previous topic here and at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/yourchildren.htm .
Helping to inform you is why this article exists. All the Social Security information you might want is available for free.
Q: Our disabled son must reduce his savings to stay below Supplemental Security Income (SSI) asset (resource) limits so we intend to pre-pay some burial expenses to do this. How much can be used for this?
A: Contact your SSA office for details but, in general, liquid assets up to $1,500 can be excluded from counting towards the individual SSI resource level of $2,000 ($3,000, couple) if in a designated burial fund account. In addition, the value of a burial space contract that cannot be revoked under state law may be excluded, regardless of value.
SSI is a low income, needs based, program for disabled or blind children, disabled or blind adults, and people over age 65. Maximum monthly SSI benefits for 2010 are $674 for an individual and $1,011 for a couple, reduced by income.
As with resources, not all income is countable. While administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is a different program and separately funded by general revenues. More SSI information is at www.socialsecurity.gov or by contacting any SSA office.