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A novel idea for a holiday gift

Do you have family members or friends on your gift list this holiday season? And are you once again wondering what to give them?

Well, you might think about giving them something that will help them for years to come - assistance in creating their own “My Social Security” account.

It’s imaginative, practical, and potentially very valuable. Here’s why.

For many people, there is no gift as precious as time. And when they weigh the value of time spent waiting in line in a government office against time spent with friends and family after quickly conducting Social Security business online, they will be grateful indeed.

And the gift of helping them apply for a “My Social Security” account has all the variety of a holiday candy sampler. After creating an account at socialsecurity.gov, a person can:

  • get an instant, personalized estimate of future Social Security benefits;
  • apply for retirement, disability, spouse’s and Medicare benefits;
  • check the status of a benefit application;
  • change address and phone number, if receiving monthly Social Security benefits;
  • sign-up for direct deposit of Social Security benefits;
  • use benefit planners to help better understand Social Security options when planning for a financial future;
  • request a replacement Medicare card; and
  • apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs.

That’s a pretty impressive package for the holiday gift-giving list. So be creative. Visit socialsecurity.gov and share the gift of potential time-saved with a relative or friend.

Ed Evans is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Seattle

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