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Don’t be spooked by the internet

Don’t look now, but it’s Halloween! Halloween is time for kids of all ages to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. But it is also a time of visiting haunted houses and watching those scary horror films. Think of the movies that frightened you the most, and they usually have an element of fear of the unknown.

Doing business online may also needlessly frighten people. When it comes to Social Security, however, there is nothing to be spooked about. The Social Security Administration is taking all the fear out of doing business online.

There are a number of things individuals can do online at www.socialsecurity.gov, and none of them should send so much as a shiver down your spine. Save a trip to a Social Security office and transact business from the comfort of home. No need to be afraid to go online; it’s so easy and safe to do business at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Here are just a few of Social Security’s online services easily accessed from the convenience of a home or office computer:

  • Apply for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits;

  • Find out what benefits you might be eligible to receive;

  • Set up a my Social Security account to access and update information anytime;

  • Apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs;

  • Estimate future benefits;

  • Appeal an unfavorable decision on a disability claim;

  • Change an address; and

  • Report employee wages.

For a complete list of Social Security’s online services, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. Individuals also can find forms, publications, answers to frequently asked questions, Social Security news and much more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Individuals will find the online services are frighteningly easy to use. Save those fears for the monsters on television or the costumed creatures knocking on doors. Don’t be afraid to visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

-Ed Evans is a Social Security Affairs specialist working in Seattle.

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