2014-02-21 / Columnists

Dispatches

Little Changes Make A Big Difference In Serving You
By Betty Galarza, Social Security District Manager, Rockaway Park

A new year is a time for changes. People across the world make resolutions and set goals to better themselves and the world around them. Whether you want to shed a few pounds, secure your finances for retirement, devote more time to charity or go on a vacation you’ve always dreamed about, chances are you’ve had some ideas for a fresh start in 2014.

Social Security is no different. Our goal is to provide the best service possible to everyone who comes to us for help, whether they’re applying for disability benefits or getting verification of their Social Security number.

By investing in new technologies and finding innovative, cost-effective ways to deliver service, we are able to reach this goal. We continue to rank high in customer service satisfaction and have the best online services in government, providing the best service to those who come to us for help.

Technology is vital to delivering quality service, and we continue to provide more options for customers to do business with us over the Internet or through self-service kiosks. For example, My Social Security provides people who use the Internet a secure way to do business with us in an easy and convenient way at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

We are making changes in the way we provide some services so we can serve the vast majority of Americans better and more efficiently. Most people won’t even notice the changes. So allow us to fill you in.

Later this year, Social Security will stop providing benefit verification letters in our local offices. You can still get an instant letter online by creating a personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or by calling our toll-free telephone number at 1-800-772-1213 to request one by mail.

In addition, we will discontinue providing Social Security number printouts. These printouts have no security features and could be easily misused or counterfeited. If you need proof of your Social Security number and you do not have your Social Security card, you may apply for a replacement card by completing the Application for a Social Security Card and providing the required documentation. You’ll find the application online at www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf.

As always, we continue to work directly with other agencies to minimize the need for furnishing proof of your Social Security number.

You may want to check out our webinar that originally aired live on January 9th, “Benefit Verification Letters Online, Easy as 1-2-3.” The webinar explains how to establish an account on my Social Security, how to get a benefit verification letter and other services offered at our website. You can watch the webinar at www.socialsecurity.gov/webinars.

We wish you all the best in 2014 and hope that you are successful in meeting your own goals and resolutions. If one of them is to do business with Social Security, or even if it is not, we will strive to continue providing the best and most secure customer service possible. Learn more about Social Security and what we do for you at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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