published Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Coffey: Save time during holidays — online

The holidays are here, and that means busy days ahead for families across the nation: gift shopping, preparing for guests, sending out holiday greetings, looking up recipes for favorite traditional dishes, checking those credit card and bank account balances.

Many people have found an easier way to manage many of their activities of the holiday season by going online. Some shoppers have eliminated the need to go to crowded shopping malls for holiday gifts by taking care of it over the Internet. Some even look up recipes on the Internet and send holiday greetings by email. You’ll find that these types of convenient, secure transactions can also be found in places you may not ordinarily think to look — for example, at www.socialsecurity. gov.

You can apply online for benefits, obtain information, plan for retirement and request a replacement Medicare card, even apply for Extra Help with your prescription drug costs all at www.socialsecurity.gov.

You can handle much of your Social Security business quickly and securely from your home or office computer. If you visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov, get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits; apply for retirement, disability, and spouse’s benefits; check the status of your benefit application; change your address and phone number, if you receive monthly benefits; sign up for direct deposit of Social Security benefits; use our benefit planners to help you better understand your Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future; find the nearest Social Security office; and request a replacement Medicare card.

Looking for more Social Security information? You can go online to find out almost anything you need to know about the Social Security program. Information is available on subjects ranging from how to get a Social Security number for a newborn to how to go back to work while receiving disability benefits.

Note: Social Security offices will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2011

Get answers to your Social Security questions each Thursday from the Social Security District Director Martin Coffey. Submit questions by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, or by emailing him at dflessner@ timesfreepress.com.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
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