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Social Security help

Wednesday, April 23, 2014    

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Q: My purse was recently stolen, along with my wallet which had my United States Social Security Card in it. Is it true that I can apply for a new card at the US Embassy? If so, how do I go about getting back a new card, or getting help with other social security questions?

A: Answering social security questions is among the many services the US Embassy can provide. We can help with the following Social Security-related problems:

* Replacing a lost or stolen social security card. You can come in to the office and fill out a brief application to have a lost or stolen Social Security card replaced. Please bring your birth certificate and passport or driver's license as identification - we are unable to accept Jamaican taxpayer ID cards. If you know your previous social security number, please bring that as well.

* Applying for a social security card for the first time. For children and adults who are US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents and who have never had a social security card, you will need to bring proof of citizenship (US Passport, Naturalisation Certificate or US Birth Certificate) or your green card as well as photo ID. If the child is under 18, you will need to know the mother and father's social security numbers, if they have them. If the child is over the age of 12, the child must come in to the Embassy in order to apply.

* Applying for first-time social security benefits. In order to apply for benefits or have your benefits continue after you move to Jamaica, you will need to complete the SSA-21 (Supplement to claim of person outside the US) and submit it to the US Embassy along with a valid ID and the 1199A Direct Deposit which you must take to your bank. Your bank will complete the form and return to you to bring to the Embassy. The Social Security Administration has processing agreements with NCB. The US Embassy doesn't process social security benefits, but we are able to take applications for social security benefits and the necessary documents and forward them directly to social security on your behalf. We can also assist you with filling out the application if you have questions or problems.

* Assistance with your continuing social security benefits. The best and quickest way to get help with a social security problem is to e-mail the regional social security office directly at sjregion@ssa.gov or FBU.SantoDomingo@ssa.gov. You will need to provide your name, the last four digits of your social security number and two phone numbers where you can be reached, along with information about your question. Responses take two to five business days. If you can't access e-mail, we can help you contact the regional social security office.

To learn more about Social Security, please attend our Town Hall Meeting with the Regional Social Security Officers on Monday May 12 at 1 pm. Seating at the town hall is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to KingstonACS@State.gov. The officers are also available to speak one on one with persons who have specific questions about their benefits. Appointments are available on May 12 and 13 in Kingston and on May 14 in Montego Bay. You can schedule an appointment by e-mail at KingstonACS@state.gov.

The Embassy staff in Kingston will answer questions you may have regarding the US Mission, including consular law, regulations and/or practice. In order to respect privacy, staff will not answer questions about specific visa applications. The embassy employs a visa appointment system, so it is only necessary for visa applicants to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Send your questions to: editorial@jamaicaobserver. com and we will send them to the embassy.

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