by Patricia Thibault
For New Pittsburgh Courier
Soon, the world’s most famous groundhog will be getting a lot of attention. On Groundhog Day, the world’s furriest weather reporter, Punxsutawney Phil, will pop out of his home to forecast one of two possibilities: an early spring or six more weeks of winter.
Regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil predicts, there’s no reason for you to wait six weeks to do business with Social Security. Whatever the weather, you can visit our online office from the convenience and comfort of your warm and cozy home or office. Just go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
You can do so many things online. And it’s so easy, even a groundhog could do it … if eligible. Below are a few of the things you can do at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Get an instant, personalized estimate of future retirement benefits with the Retirement Estimator at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator;
Apply for Social Security retirement, spouse’s, or disability benefits at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline;
Apply for Medicare at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly;
Request a replacement Medicare card at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicarecard/, and
Learn about Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp, where you can find a link to apply.
Punxsutawney Phil has called for six more weeks of winter 87 percent of the time. We suspect that’s because he just likes to stay in his comfortable home. You can too, on Groundhog Day or any day, by going online.
Whatever the weather, learn all about the things you can do online at http://www.social security.gov/onlineservices.
(Patricia Thibault is Social Security district manager in Pittsburgh.)