Critter Corner: Social Security Ends Annual Mailings

Dear Commander Bun Bun,
I heard that Social Security will no longer be sending statements in the mail? Is that true, and if so, how can we find out about our benefits?
Nomar Statemenz
—-Dear Nomar,

As of this year, Social Security will end its annual mailings that detail how much you can expect to receive in benefits. After several years of mailing the reports sporadically, the agency announced this month that it’s discontinuing the practice to save an estimated $11.3 million a year.

Instead, the federal agency is encouraging people to sign up to get the information at
The statements typically include estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, as well as your total earnings per year and how much you have paid toward Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Please keep in mind that the change in statement policy will not affect people aged 60 and older who are not yet receiving Social Security and have not signed up on the website; they will continue to receive mailed statements.
“We know that our cutbacks will affect many of you, but we have no choice,” agency spokesman Doug Walker wrote in a blog announcing the change. Walker said, “(a)fter adjusting for inflation, Social Security has 10% less money to run its programs since 2010, while the number of beneficiaries has gone up 13%.”

Please note that it’s still important to check your statement regularly, so you should download it at least once a year from the Social Security website. Benefits are based on earnings, but Social Security sometimes makes mistakes, and there’s a seven-year window to correct them by submitting W-2s or tax returns. After that, any errors are set in stone, potentially depriving people of benefits they should have received. It’s also a good to get an idea how much you can expect to receive in benefits, to get a head start on retirement planning.

Setting up an account on the website and accessing the report requires a valid email address, Social Security number, and U.S. mailing address. Applicants will also be asked questions that only they should be able to answer and to provide several different types of information, the agency says. Those who do not know the required information or prefer not to answer them online may apply in person at a local Social Security office, where they will be required to prove their identity.

Hop this is helpful!

Commander Bun Bun

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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