Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

Tips on dealing with the Social Security Administration

The workings of the U.S. Social Security Administration can be clouded by jargon and bureaucracy. Check these sites for answers to big questions and how to deal with those bureaucrats.

• The retirement "estimator" at Social Security's SSA.gov site will give you a ballpark number for what you can expect in those benefits at retirement. The estimator uses your own information on record with the Social Security Administration. Other links from the same page will estimate your life expectancy and tell you how to begin an online application for benefits.

ssa.gov/estimator

• You can begin receiving Social Security payments at 62, but your checks will be bigger if you wait to a later age. In a video at the Los Angeles Times, consumer columnist David Lazarus explains a little-known fact: If you change your mind within 12 months of starting payments, "you can give the money back and get the clock going again" to qualify for larger payments when you are older. The trick, of course, is having the money to return.

goo.gl/ACOaV8

• Another planning page back at SSA.gov could be helpful, but it gets complicated fast. For example, the monthly hit you'll take by starting to receive payments at 62 will differ depending on when you were born — the later your birth date, the less you get at 62. Meanwhile, the age at which people qualify for a full Social Security benefit gets higher and higher — people born in 1937 were the last to qualify on the day they turned 65.

goo.gl/rGqMyP

• Legal Q&A forum Avvo.com has this older post on "rules for dealing with the Social Security Administration." It includes tips on when to call the administration to avoid the longest waits. Other suggestions: Ask for a direct telephone number from the claims rep when you finally do talk to one; take and keep notes; and don't give up. Also, "A trip to the Social Security office often works wonders in solving problems."

goo.gl/hKadwt

• More tips for going mano-a-mano with the Social Security Administration — starting with "You can't get money if you don't apply" — are available from the office of Illinois Legal Aid. In the event of a denial, such as on an application for disability benefits, "In almost all cases, it is better to appeal than to wait and then to file a new application."

goo.gl/ieW2gs

Comments
Many Americans still cannot afford a $400 set back

Many Americans still cannot afford a $400 set back

Could you pay an unexpected $400 expense?More than four in 10 Americans said they couldn’t without borrowing money or selling something, according to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households released Tuesday.That’s a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Target: New Tampa, Clearwater stores part of company-wide makeovers

Target: New Tampa, Clearwater stores part of company-wide makeovers

Target is renovating more than 1,000 stores by the end of 2020, including two SuperTarget locations in New Tampa and Clearwater.The Clearwater store’s makeover — which the corporation calls ‘‘reimagining" — just wrapped up, according to Target spoke...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

ST. PETERSBURG — Ford’s Garage, a car junkie’s haven, has proven to be popular eatery across the state.Now it has a chance to drive customers to its seats in St. Petersburg. The restaurant opens its ninth location downtown Wednesday at 200 First Ave....
Updated: 6 hours ago

The hostile work environment checklist: How toxic is yours?

Workplace stress is hardly a new phenomenon. Everyone has a bad day (or even month) at work now and then. Your client presentation didn’t go as well as planned; your boss didn’t fall head over heels for your proposal; you had to stay late to finish a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Career Q&A:

Career Q&A:

Q: Despite having a stellar employment record, I am concerned about two incidents mentioned during my recent performance review. Both involved accusations which were completely unfair.Several months ago, our human resources manager told me that I was...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa-backed company with candy-like coffee thins inks deal with Dunkin’ Donuts

Tampa-backed company with candy-like coffee thins inks deal with Dunkin’ Donuts

TAMPA — Tampa-based private equity firm ProspEquity Partners paid $18.2 million less than three weeks ago for a two-thirds stake in Tierra Nueva, a Miami company with a new idea for coffee, and already it has some big news.Tierra Nueva has inked a de...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Proud mom orders ‘Summa Cum Laude’ cake online. Publix censors it to ‘Summa . Laude.’

Proud mom orders ‘Summa Cum Laude’ cake online. Publix censors it to ‘Summa . Laude.’

Saturday was Jacob Kosinski’s big day. His whole family, many from out of town, saw the Charleston, South Carolina, student graduate from his Christian-based homeschool program with a 4.89 grade point average and the coveted honor of summa cum laude....
Updated: 10 hours ago
It’s picking time at Brooksville blackberry farm, one of a handful in the region

It’s picking time at Brooksville blackberry farm, one of a handful in the region

BROOKSVILLE — Black follows blue in the berry patches of Hernando County, but blackberry proponents claim they’re worth waiting for.Today’s blackberry brambles are thornless and don’t require bending over to pick. Their fruits are mouth-full juicier,...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Amazon is selling facial recognition to Orlando law enforcement - for a fistful of dollars

Amazon is selling facial recognition to Orlando law enforcement - for a fistful of dollars

Amazon has been providing facial recognition tools to law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Orlando for only a few dollars a month, according to documents obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, paving the way for a rollou...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Report: Downtown Tampa has least amount of vacant land of top 25 metros

Report: Downtown Tampa has least amount of vacant land of top 25 metros

Tampa is facing major landscape changes as projects like Water Street Tampa gear up. But despite the ongoing and upcoming major development, a new CommercialCafé study says, downtown Tampa has a big challenge with the least amount of vacant land of a...
Updated: 10 hours ago