Edward Lafferty, Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration discussed the latest news from the agency, including recent cost of living increase, the restoration of Wednesday hours at local offices, and the current open enrollment window for Medicare. Edward offered examples of the increasing Full Retirement Age and we discussed the benefits – and costs – of taking benefits early or delaying an enrollment. Take benefits before your full retirement age and you and spouse will see a reduced benefit that never returns to the amount you could have received, delay taking benefits and it goes up, at the same time, delays in enrolling in Medicare Plan B and your monthly premium goes up. We also discussed scams which are increasing. Edward advises us that the Social Security Administration will never call or email you unless you initiate a discussion with them, they will never make threats of use a third party or collection agency to collect money, and that if you do have issues it can always be appealed, you never have to make an immediate payment. He also reminds us that you cannot pay a fee or service charge to get an increased benefit. He suggests we visit SSA.GOV to watch a video created by the Inspector General discussing fraud and he gave us the hotline to reports fraud, 1-800-269-0271.
Always remember that a MySocialSecurity account will help you track your benefits, catch mistakes, apply for benefits and replacement cards. For anything Social Security, visit SSA.GOV.