Call Social Security to get $250 stimulus payment


POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Question: Who can I contact regarding the $250 stimulus payment to people on Social Security who don't work? We didn't get our checks.

Answer: Anyone eligible for a $250 check who did not receive it by now is advised to call the Social Security Administration's toll-free number, (800) 772-1213, or contact the local office.

The Department of Treasury was to send payments to all eligible Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries by the end of May.

Anyone eligible for the one-time payment did not have to do anything to get a check.

Question: I arrived here in April on a K-1 fiance visa. A friend told me to apply for my Social Security number after a month. But when I went to Kapolei to apply for a number, I was told that I can't apply for one unless I have my alien card. How come my friends in the same situation were able to get their Social Security numbers?

Answer: Your friends must have provided the required documents.

According to the Social Security Administration, K-1 denotes you are the fiance of a U.S. citizen, so are eligible for a Social Security number and employment.

To apply for a Social Security number, you have to fill out Form SS-5 and provide documents proving your immigration status, work eligibility, age and identity.

You cannot submit photocopies or notarized copies—all documents must be originals or certified by the issuing agency.

To make sure you have the proper documents, call (800) 772-1213 and ask to speak to an agent, advised Jane Burigsay, spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration's Hawaii region.

Question: If a person dies before reaching the eligible Social Security benefits collection age and has no spouse, children or siblings, and both parents have died, where does his or her Social Security benefits go?

Answer: They remain in the big pool of benefits, to be disbursed to other people.

“;The Social Security taxes paid on a worker's earnings are not placed in an individual worker's account, but are pooled in special funds from which benefits are paid to eligible workers and their families,”; said spokeswoman Jane Burigsay.

In other words, the Social Security program does not guarantee someone the return of his or her Social Security taxes.

“;It is a system of social insurance under which covered workers (and their employers) pay taxes to provide insurance protection for the workers and their families,”; Burigsay said. “;They are protected against the loss of income from work because of the retirement, disability or death of the worker.”;

Additionally, Social Security provides protection against hospital costs in old age and in severe and extended disability, she said.

Question: I stayed with a man for 38 years. He died. Do I receive his Social Security benefits? My friend said no.

Answer: You did not provide any details about your relationship, but survivors who could be eligible to receive benefits include widows/widowers, children, dependent parents or divorced spouses.

To find out whether you are eligible, call toll-free (800) 772-1213.

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).