published Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Social Security: Relative moving in should report address

Martin Coffey

Q: My dad, who is receiving supplemental security income, will be coming to live with me. Does he have to report the move to Social Security?

A: Yes. An SSI beneficiary must report any change in living arrangements within 10 days after the month the change occurs.

If the change is not reported, your dad could receive an incorrect payment or he may not receive all the money that is due. Also, your dad needs to report his new address to Social Security so that he can receive mail from us.

Even if benefits are paid by direct deposit, we need to be able to get in touch with him. He can report the change by telephone, mail or in person at any Social Security office. Keep in mind that failing to report a change to Social Security could result in incorrect payments that may have to be paid back or a penalty deducted from SSI benefits. Just call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-

325-0778). You can get more information in the booklet Understanding SSI, at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

Q: We adopted a baby girl overseas and brought her home with us to the United States. We need to get a Social Security number for her. What do we do?

A: In general, to apply for a Social Security number for your child you must:

* Complete an application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5) for your child, which you can find online at www.socialsecurity.gov;

* Show us documents proving your child’s U.S. citizenship or immigration status; adoption; age; and identity

* Show us a document proving your identity.

* Show us evidence that establishes your relationship to the child if your name is not listed as the parent on the child’s evidence of age. The adoption decree or the amended U.S. birth certificate will suffice.

You can take your application and original documents to your local Social Security office, or you can mail them to us.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. If you do not yet have proof of your child’s citizenship, we can assign a number based on documentation issued by the Department of Homeland Security upon the child’s arrival in the United States. When you do receive documentation of your child’s citizenship, you can bring it to us, and we will update your child’s record. We will mail your child’s number and card as soon as we have verified your documents with the issuing offices.

Submit questions to local Social Security Director Martin Coffey by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401-1447, or by e-mailing him at dflessner@timesfreepress.com.

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