Social Security Delays Changes

Since the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices do not seem to have access to the internet or the E-verify system, we have no idea how they are going to deal with this problem of the Social Security Administration not providing a print out.  This is a huge problem for homeless people which are regularly having their important documents taken or they get lost with all the movement in and out of housing and shelter.  We are still waiting for a response from the Ohio BMV. 

Brian Davis

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Changes in the Social Security Administration

Photo by David HaganThere was news from the Cleveland Identification Collaborative. 

  • Printouts will no longer be issued in February at local offices. Printouts were being used as a document needed to get a state identification.
  • Security and budget constraints require Social Security to stop the practice of issuing printouts.
  • 6 million printouts were issued last year (2012) up from the 200,000 issued in 2002
  • Employers can utilize I-Verify to verify employees numbers there is also a business service offered by Social Security which allows for online verification on a fee basis
  • Carmen Moreno, Regional Communications Director  for Social Security has committed to come to Cleveland to discuss the Collaborative concerns and work toward resolutions, and social service representatives will meet with the Director
  • On transition basis the printouts will be issued through March of 2014

Here is the press release from the Social Security Administration:

As of February 2014, the Social Security Administration will no longer offer Social Security number (SSN) printouts and benefit verification information in our field offices.  However, to ensure a smooth transition, we will continue providing these services if requested until April 2014.  We are making these changes to meet the increasing demands for our services at the same time that our agency budget has been significantly cut by over $1B in each of the last three years.  During this same time period we have invested in technology that offers more convenient, cost-effective, and secure options for our customers to obtain certain services without visiting a local office.

Because the SSN printout is not an official document with security features, and is easily duplicated, misused, shared illegally, or counterfeited, eliminating it helps prevent fraud.  Employers, departments of motor vehicles, and other entities requiring SSN verification can obtain this information in real time or overnight using online government services such as E-Verify and Social Security’s Business Services Online.  Beneficiaries and recipients needing a benefit verification letter can obtain one immediately by registering for a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount , or through the mail within 5–7 days by calling our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.

I appreciate your support for this effort as we work to provide the best possible service to the American people.  For future updates and news visit www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty .

 

The State is going to have to change their procedures to reflect that print outs are not available.  The State has issues with federal Real ID provisions as well that need to be resolved in 2014. 

Brian Davis

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Social Security Administration Makes it Difficult to Obtain ID

Cleveland is one of the few communities in the United States to have a collaborative ID program for homeless people.  This was organized way back in 2005 by one of our VISTAs, Joseph, at NEOCH with most of the homeless programs in Cleveland participating.  The program is led by staff at West Side Catholic and St. Colman's Catholic Church.  Last week, we were notified that the Social Security Administration had tightened their rules and will not give a printout indicating the individual has a social security number without proof of citizenship and identity.  Since a national identification card does not exist and when people lose their important papers that typically includes a birth certificate, this is a hardship for homeless and low income individuals. 

This June 24th memo issued by the Social Security Administration will complicate the ability for individuals to receive the print out that they do have a social security number.  This printout was used by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles as a secondary document to prove that the individual had a social security number in order to receive a State ID.  Now, SSA is saying that you have to have a State ID first to the get the print out and the State is saying you have to have the Social Security card or print out in order to get the ID card.  It is a Catch 22 that will only complicates the lives of poor people.  This new policy will make it more difficult to get identification and prolong a person's homelessness.  It will take longer to get identification to vote, find housing, find a job and get non-emergency health care.  This will keep people living in the shelters for a longer period of time and cost the City and County money to house, feed and cloth these individuals. 

We heard from one social service provider who wrote a letter on letterhead detailing the association with the client and confirming their records of her social security number, and that worked.  The client was able to get a print out of their social security number from SSA.  This all seems like overkill since the client was always made to swear to their own identity at the SSA office and have that document  notarized becoming a legal document.  What was the issue, and what was the problem they are trying to solve?  Now, they are accepting documents from for-profit sources such as an employer identification card, health insurance card, and school identification card as proof of identity.   There is a thought that a letter from the Department of Jobs and Family Services indicating the individual's social security number might work.  We are not sure how this will all play out and what documents will be acceptable.  Will the Street Chronicle ID that our vendors carry count? Will a letter back from the Housing Authority about the clients housing status count if it has their social security number?  Will the RTA disabled bus pass be acceptable?  Will different SSA offices accept different documents?  It is all confusing and does not inspire confidence in our government. We hope to meet with Congressional staff to look into this issue.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.