Those visiting the Social Security site (SSA.gov) for the first time in a while may notice that things look a bit different than before. The homepage touts a fresh look and new interactive features designed to help users navigate the site more efficiently.
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Visitors to the main site can now do the following directly from the homepage.
Check eligibility for benefits: Under the "Prepare" header, users can click to check their eligibility for benefits.
Plan for retirement: Also under the "Prepare" header, site visitors can click on "Plan for retirement" to get an estimate on how much Social Security benefits they may be entitled to when they apply at different times (between age 62 and 70). They can also factor in costs that affect that estimate, such as taxes and Medicare.
Apply for benefits: Under the "Apply" header, visitors can apply for benefits right from the homepage.
Sign up for Medicare: Also under "Apply," users can also sign up for Medicare. If already enrolled in Medicare Part A, they can sign up for Part B only.
Check application status: Users can click to check their application status.
Appeal application decision: One can also click to get the ball rolling to appeal an application decision.
Site visitors can also manage their benefits and information directly on the SSA.gov homepage. They may click on the following:
Get benefit verification letter.
Get tax form (1099/1042s).
Update direct deposit.
Repay overpaid benefits.
Request to withhold taxes.
View benefit payment schedule.
Visitors can also click through to:
Request number for the first time.
Report stolen number.
Update contact information.
Update incorrect birthday.
Update sex identification.
The site was overhauled to prioritize convenience and accessibility for the millions of Americans it serves.
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"SSA.gov is visited by over 180 million people per year and it is one of our most important tools for providing efficient and equitable access to service," Kilolo Kijakazi, acting commissioner of the SSA, stated in a press release. "Whether providing service in person or online, our goal is to help people understand what they may qualify for and seamlessly transition them to an application process."
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Social Security Website Gets an Upgrade: What's Changed and How It Benefits You