COL Survey says -- Web site very helpful

There is an old business adage that says "if you want to stay in business, you have to do repeat business." That is why I was pleased, but not surprised, to learn the results of a survey conducted earlier this year. That survey shows that about 80 percent of Social Security's online visitors are likely to return to our Web site -- and also would recommend our Web site to others.

Clearly, visitors to Social Security's Web site -- -- are very satisfied with the service they receive. And, not surprisingly, the pages and information on our Web site that attract the most attention have to do with retirement and retirement planning. According to a study of our online retirement planner and benefit calculators, 40 percent of visitors are seeking general information about retirement, 20 percent want information to help them decide when to retire and 18 percent come to our Web site to calculate their Social Security benefits.

But the Social Security Web site also has other popular and useful features. You can find out almost anything you want or need to know about the Social Security program, from how to get a Social Security number to how to go back to work while receiving disability benefits.

In addition, you can

file online for retirement, disability and spouse's benefits;


check the status of your benefits application; and

find the Social Security office closest to your home.

If you are currently receiving Social Security benefits, you can also

change your address and phone number;

sign up for direct deposit; and

request a replacement Medicare card.

Social is virtually a full-service office -- with very convenient hours. Web site visitors can use our online services from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. each weekday. On weekends, Web site visitors can conduct business from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

If you need information about Social Security or you would like to contemplate your own financial future, our Web site is the place to go. Chances are, you will not only be satisfied with what you find there, but will be likely to recommend it to family and friends. Just visit .


David Rude is the Social Security district manager in Rochester.

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