Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday.
To some, the day means more than an observance of the birthday of the civil rights leader. It also is a day to be of service to others.
The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the president's national call-to-service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
A great way to be of service to others is to help someone you know who may need assistance applying for Social Security, Medicare or Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. Each of these is easy to do at www.social security.gov.
Some people who need these benefits may not be comfortable with computers or may not even know applying online is an option.
But now it's easier than ever to apply for such benefits from the convenience of a home computer at www.socialsecurity.gov.
For example, it's easy to apply for retirement benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.
It can take as little as 15 minutes from start to finish, and once the application is electronically submitted, in most cases, there is nothing more to do.
It's even easier to apply for Medicare, for people who do not plan to begin their Social Security retirement payments yet but who do want Medicare coverage.
The application takes about 10 minutes and can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.
People who already have Medicare coverage, but who have trouble meeting prescription drug costs, can apply for Extra Help online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp.
Holiday closing: Social Security offices will be closed Monday.
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 emailing him at email@example.com.