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Asked by Anonymous

How do I sign up for direct deposit for SS check?

If you already receive Social Security or SSI benefits and you have a bank account, you can sign up for Direct Deposit by:

Learn more about signing up to get your Social Security benefits through direct deposit. 

Asked by Anonymous

What is the fica tax rate for employee and emplorer for 2012

When you work for an employer or are self-employed, you must pay payroll taxes that fund Social Security. These taxes are collected under the authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and commonly called FICA contributions. 

The FICA tax rate is set by law. From 1990 to present, the total tax rate paid by employees and employers is 7.65%. This is made up of a 6.2% contribution to the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program and a 1.45% contribution to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) program.

Self-employed workers currently contribute 12.4% to OASDI and 2.9% to HI. 

In 2011 and the first two months of 2012, the OASDI tax rate is reduced by 2% for both employees and for self-employed workers.

Learn more about Social Security and Medicare tax rates or FICA.

Asked by Anonymous

does ss get a raise in2012

Social security beneficiaries will receive a 3.6% cost of living increase in 2012. Learn more about the latest Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.

Social Security Now Has Applications in Spanish

Applying for Social Security benefits is now easier for people with limited English proficiency.

The Social Security Administration now offers applications in Spanish on its website, The applications allow Spanish speakers to apply for some of the agency’s top benefits, including retirement and prescription drugs benefits.

“The goal is to satisfy the need of people who prefer to speak Spanish and who would rather communicate with us through their native tongue,” said Diana Varela, a spokesperson for the agency in Washington DC.

What You Can Do Online

There are lots of things you can do on, from filling out applications and appealing a decision to changing your address and replacing a Medicare card. Until now, however, some of these applications have only been available in English.

To make the process easier for Spanish speakers with limited English skills, the Social Security Administration has translated the applications for the following benefits:

  • Retirement benefits: This is a retirement plan for qualified workers in the United States. To apply for these benefits you need to be at least 62 years old.
  • Medicare benefits: Medicare is a national health plan offered to people who are 65 years or older.
  • Prescription drugs benefits: Social Security helps some Medicare beneficiaries cover the cost of prescription drugs.

What to Do before Applying for Benefits

Varela suggests that you go online to see if you qualify for a program before completing an application. You should then gather the necessary documents so that it’s easier for you to complete the application.

It takes between 15 to 20 minutes to complete the online application for benefits, which uses clear and simple language.

"It’s very easy," said Varela.

What to Do after Applying Online

Once completed, the application will be sent electronically to a local Social Security office. An agency representative will determine if more information is needed. If that’s the case, a representative will contact you directly.

In some instances, you may need to visit a local Social Security office. For example, if you would rather hand-deliver original documents, such as naturalization certificates or permanent residency cards, instead of sending them through the mail.

"The idea is that people can complete the process in Spanish from their home," said Varela.