By Deborah Banikowski
We are required to periodically conduct continuing disability reviews for beneficiaries with disabilities. This process requires that beneficiaries complete a continuing disability review packet, that we mail to beneficiaries, to help us update information about their medical conditions and recent treatments.
Additionally, we offer an online option for beneficiaries to complete the disability update report form and provide any supporting documents about their medical treatment or work activities.
We designed this form with convenience in mind — and to save you time. You can access the online form at www.ssa.gov/ssa455-online-form. (Use either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome for the best online experience.)
When you complete your continuing disability review, you will need your Social Security number, current address and phone number, and a valid email address to complete the form. Also, you must have received a request for an updated disability report in the mail.
Once you “Click to Sign,” you will receive an email from echosign.com asking you to confirm your digital signature. Check your junk folder if you don’t receive it within a few minutes. If your signature isn’t complete your form won’t be processed.
Please be sure to let your friends and loved ones know about this new online option.
Q & A
Q: I want to apply for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) this year. When is the deadline to apply?
A: If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) when you first became eligible for Medicare, you have an opportunity to apply during the general enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until next year to apply. Medicare Part B covers some medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), such as doctors’ fees, outpatient hospital visits and other medical supplies. You can learn more by reading Medicare at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10043.html.
Q: I lost my Medicare card. How can I get replacement?
A: The easiest and newest way to get a replacement Medicare card is by using your my Social Security account. Go to www.ssa.gov/myaccount for more information on how to create an account. You also can get a replacement Medicare card by calling us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Keep your card in a safe place. You don’t want anyone getting hold of your Social Security number. They could steal your identity.
Q: My child is disabled, but when I applied for SSI, I was told that my child was ineligible because my spouse and I earned too much money? Why does our income make my child ineligible?
A: If a child is living with either their natural or adopted parents, then some of the income that the parents earn deems to the child. We use these amounts to determine whether or not your child meets the non-medical requirements for SSI. For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-deeming.htm.
Q: I saw a poster that advised people 65 or over with limited income and resources to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Next month I’ll turn 65, and I thought I’d be eligible for SSI. I planned to apply until my neighbor told me I probably would be turned down because I have children who could help support me. Is this true?
A: Whether your children are capable of helping to support you does not affect your eligibility. SSI eligibility depends solely on your income and resources (the things you own). If you have low income and few resources, you may be able to get SSI. However, if you are receiving support from your children or from anyone living inside or outside of your home, it may affect your eligibility or the amount you can receive. Support includes any food or shelter that is given to you, or is received by you because someone else pays for it. Learn more about SSI at www.ssa.gov/ssi.
Q: I have been collecting disability benefits for a few years, but I’m getting healthy enough to work again. Can I return to work while getting Social Security disability benefits?
A: Yes, you can return to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits. We have special rules to help you get back to work without lowering your initial benefits. You may be able to have a trial work period for nine months to test whether you can work. If you get disability benefits and your condition improves or you return to work, you must report these changes to us. Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office. You can find your local office by visiting www.ssa.gov/locator.