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The Social Security Administration goes online

Anyone that is receiving Social Security disability benefits in Ohio may find themselves heading to the Internet for quicker access to the Social Security system. As the Social Security Administration moves into the future, it is asking people to head to a computer rather than head to a Social Security office, which most associate with frustratingly long waits. According to a spokesman with the administration, more than 80 million people used the website last year.

The SSA website allows for individuals to apply for disability benefits. It also gives users who have already been approved for benefits the ability to change their phone numbers or their addresses. Users can also ask to receive a proof of income letter or a retirement benefit estimate. The website also provides calculators, giving recipients the ability to estimate their disability benefits on their own.

Many with the Social Security Administration are in full support of their online initiative. According to them, users capable of navigating the website can find what they need faster. The problem is that many people receiving disability benefits have difficulties using the computer. Whether it is a physical incapacitation from a past workplace accident or an intimidation factor brought on with age, many beneficiaries of Social Security have trouble with the Internet. Because of these worries, the Social Security Administration has no plans to go completely online.

Anyone who cannot operate the website without support can continue heading to their local Social Security office. Similarly, those without a computer can also inquire about their disability benefits at an office. Cuyahoga County in Ohio has eight offices alone. Other counties closer to Columbus will surely keep their offices open as well.

Source: The Plain Dealer, "Social Security's initiative offers online option for applying for benefits," John Caniglia, Sept. 8, 2011

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