SOCIAL SECURITY Q & A: Benefits info comes this month
Q: I started receiving Social Security benefits last year. Will I get a statement of benefits received in 2013 for tax purposes?
A: Yes, you will. People receiving Social Security benefits in 2013 will automatically receive form SSA-1099 or 1042S on or before Jan. 31, 2014. You do not need to request this. Forms are automatically mailed to your address as shown on your Social Security benefit record. Tax year 2013 replacement forms SSA-1099 or 1042S will be available after Feb. 1.
Have you changed your mailing address? Update your mailing address by calling the national Social Security toll-free telephone number, (800) 772-1213 or TTY (800) 325-0778. If registered for a My Social Security account (see www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/), you can change your Social Security address online when convenient for you.
Q: Everyone at work calls me Bill rather than my formal name of William. I just received my W-2 form and it used Bill. Will this be a problem since my Social Security card shows my name as William?
A: This will not be a problem but it is strongly recommended that both your Social Security number card and W-2 form use your legal name. Although popular nicknames such as Bill for William will match to Social Security records, you should bring this to the attention of your employer immediately for correction. W-2 forms should also be reviewed to be sure your SSN is correctly shown, with your employer immediately told of any problems.
If reversed, with your name correct on your W-2 form but not your Social Security card, you should correct your SSN record very soon. Whether for marriage, divorce or other reason, make sure you change your name with Social Security, as well as with your employer. A mismatch could delay your tax refund and cause problems with your Social Security benefits in the future. Name changes and all other SSN actions are provided at no charge by Social Security. See www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber for instructions.
Kossover is the Social Security public affairs specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at social securityinfo.areavoices.com.