If you thought your Social Security was only good for sending your monthly payments on time, we have news for you. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a host of special services that help and aid customers with their medical, familial, and financial issues. Here are four of them.

The authority to expedite disability claims

If you apply for disability benefits and your claim is denied, it can take the SSA months to even begin processing your application for an appeal.  This can be very frustrating, not to mention physically and mentally traumatic, if you have a severe or worsening medical condition. To counter this common problem, the SSA established the Compassionate Allowances program which lists 242 medical conditions that meet approval for disability. Any application that contains one of these conditions, is fast-tracked and can be approved in a few days.

Representative payees

If you have a cognitive disorder or a developmental disability and are a Social Security recipient, Social Security can appoint a representative payee for you. This person can receive your benefits and use them to meet needs like food bills, shelter, and health care. While some representative payees are friends or family members, a few may be organizations like nursing homes. Each representative payee is strictly accountable to the SSA about how they spend the beneficiary’s money.

They can help with Medicare drug costs

The SSA has collaborated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to create the Extra Help program. Under this program, low-income Medicare beneficiaries from  50 states and the District of Columbia can avail reduced prescription drug expenses that go up to $5,000 a year. To qualify, you must have an income of no more than $19,140 for an individual or $25,860 for a married couple living together. You can apply for the program online or by calling 800-772-1213.

Translation and interpretation services

Not a native English speaker? No problem. The SSA provides free interpreter services for languages like Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

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