Back in 1971, someone at the Social Security Administration goofed and overpaid a woman to the amount of $895. This past January, 42 years after the fact, that woman’s son says he received a letter from the SSA telling him to pay up or have that money docked from his tax refund. [More]
Ask Tax Dad: Amending My Taxes, Social Security Disability, And Buried In Online Brokerage Paperwork
Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he found a particularly good sunbeam and called in for a personal day. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
Remember the year you couldn’t even find a babysitting job and cashed out all your savings bonds just to afford groceries and beer? The U.S. Social Security Administration does, and now all of your past earning info and more is online, ready and waiting for you to walk down memory lane or prepare for your future. [More]
Four suspects have been arrested after being accused of a diabolical scheme where they locked up people in a basement and stole their Social Security checks. [More]
In an era burdened by pay freezes across countless industries, the only sure way to get a raise is to retire. Social Security has snapped out of its own rate freeze and is handing out a 3.6 percent benefits increase next year. [More]
The Social Security disability fund may not be able to make payments come 2017, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). [More]
Every day in this country, more than 38 living, breathing Americans join the ranks of the living dead after their names somehow end up on the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. [More]
I got cocky. I thought after several emails with a Humana communications person and a story on Consumerist, the insurance company would surely relent and let Dean’s father, Thomas, cancel his unnecessary supplemental Medicare insurance. Nope. After all our efforts, Humana called Thomas only to tell him, once again, that they won’t let him cancel. This time, because they say the signature on his request form doesn’t match the signature on his policy. Which is odd, because Thomas is the one who signed both. [More]
Now you can know what Big Brother knows about you and get access to the same dirt everyone from your boss, landlord, insurance agent, to your favorite casino has on you. Here is a comprehenisve list of websites and phone numbers for most of the “specialty” consumer reports, like your employment, rental, and check writing history. Be sure to check them out and correct any errors, before a crisis hits. [More]
The good news: the cost of living is decreasing, or at least isn’t increasing. The bad news: Colorado is the first state to actually decrease its minimum wage, from $7.28 to $7.24, and Social Security recipients will not be receiving their routine cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA for 2010.
If you get a call from a debt collector for a loan you never took out, and your Social Security number starts with a zero, try this excuse: “[My SSN] ended up linked to a Micronesian man who defaulted on a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.”
If you plan on retiring after 2037, you’d better get really serious about saving now. It might not hurt to also take a vow of poverty; that way you’ll feel like it’s your decision to live off of cardboard and dumpster fruit in your sixties.
The Dallas Independent School District has been making up fake Social Security Numbers for foreign hires for years, even after being told in 2004 by the state’s education board to stop because it’s illegal. The numbers were meant to “expedite” the hiring process and get the employees on payroll, but they found their way onto Department of Homeland Security and IRS forms (which are kept in-district but shared with feds upon request), were used for criminal background checks, and in at least 26 cases were numbers in use by real people.
As several readers discussed in yesterday’s post, utility, phone, and cable companies usually require your Social Security number in order to perform a credit check before activating service. You don’t have to provide it, but they don’t have to extend their services to you either. Here’s one reader’s explanation of how he was able to turn on water, electricity, gas, and an AT&T land line without turning over his SSN.
The Center For Responsible Lending has put together a report that examines the disastrous effect of overdraft fees on Americans who depend on Social Security for all or part of their income. Despite the fact that they’ve had checking accounts all their lives (and presumably know what they’re doing), each year older Americans pay 4.5 billion dollars in overdraft fees– and on average they actually pay more in fees than they receive in credit when the overdraft is triggered by a debit card transaction.