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Social Security and Medicare

Collecting Social Security benefits, determining eligibility, and determining Medicare plan coverage can be a complicated process. Resolving issues with the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be difficult at times. As your Representative I may be able to assist you with your questions and issues concerning Social Security, Medicare, and the Social Security Administration.

Please review the resources below. If you still have questions about SS retirement benefits, disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Medicare, or are in need of assistance I am happy to assist you in any way I can. I will first need your written permission to contact the Social Security Administration.  You will need to complete the Social Security Privacy Authorization Form and fax, mail, or email it to:

Congressman David G. Valadao
101 North Irwin Street
Suite 110 B
Hanford, California 93230 
Fax: (559) 582-5527

You may also contact my staff in Hanford office at (559) 582-5526.


The United States Social Security Administration

Get or Replace a Social Security Card 

Retirement Estimator Calculator

Find the Appropriate Social Security Form 


Medicare Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions

What programs are administered under the Social Security Administration?
The Social Security Administration administers the Social Security Program which consists of Retirement Benefits, Disability Benefits, and Survivors Benefits. The administration also administers Social Security Income (SSI), a need-based program, for the aged, blind, or disabled. Finally, the Social Security Administration also oversees Medicare.

How can I contact the Social Security Administration to obtain information to determine if I qualify for benefits?
To determine if you qualify for benefits through the SSA, you can call your local Social Security Office or visit the Social Security Administration’s website. You can also call the SSA toll-free at 1-800-772 1213.        

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes. It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income by proving assistance to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. 

What are retirement benefits?
Retirement benefits provided by Social Security are a lifetime retirement benefit in the form of a monthly check to individuals who meet the requirements and apply for the benefit.  Social Security is part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you are among the 96 percent of workers who are covered under Social Security, you should know how the system works and what you should receive from Social Security when you retire. Visit the SSA’s website on Retirement Benefits for additional information. 

What are Disability benefits?
Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this very strict definition of disability. While some programs give money to people with partial disability or disabled for a temporary amount of time, Social Security does not. Visit the SSA’s website on Disability Benefits for additional information.

What are Survivors Benefits?
Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. Visit the SSA’s website on Survivors Benefits for additional information.

What is Medicare?
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, in some cases. The program helps with the cost of healthcare, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.

Medicare is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers. It also is financed in part by monthly premiums deducted from Social Security checks. Visit the SSA’s website on Medicare for additional information.

What can Congressman Valadao do to help with my claim?
Congressman Valadao is always happy to help constituents who need assistance with a Social Security claim.  However, there are limits to what Congressman Valadao and the office can do.  At the Congressman’s request, Social Security officials will flag a particular case and keep the office updated throughout the process.  This communication can help a person understand what is happening with their case, so they can make other decisions regarding their life and family.

However, neither the Congressman nor his staff can act as the “representative” on a person’s paperwork.  You may want an attorney to help you with this.  Congressman Valadao’s actions will not affect the work done by the person you select as your representative.  Congressman Valadao also does not have the authority to overturn any decision made by the Social Security Administration.

After you file the paperwork for benefits with your local Social Security office, one of Congressman Valadao’s caseworkers would be pleased to follow the progress of your claim.  If you would like assistance from our office, please complete the Privacy Release Authorization form and fax or mail it to our office.

Who is eligible to receive Social Security Benefits?
Despite commonly held beliefs Social Security is much more than just a retirement program.  Although it is true that most of the people receiving Social Security receive retirement benefits, many others receive Social Security because they are:

  • Disabled individuals
  • A spouse or child of someone who gets Social Security
  • A spouse or child of a worker who died
  • A dependent parent of a worker who died 

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for Social Security at any age. In fact, Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other government program.             

Where can I find the forms I will need to apply for a program at the Social Security Administration?
Whether you are applying for disability benefits, requesting a benefit statement, or signing up for direct deposit, all forms utilized by the Social Security Administration can be found online on the Social Security Administration website’s Get a Form Page. Below you will find links to apply online to each program administered by the social security administration. 

            Apply Online for Retirement Benefits

            Apply Online for Disability Benefits

            Apply Online for Medicare Benefits

I lost my Social Security Card. How do I get a new one?
You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. But you don't often need to show your Social Security card. Do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers. Your Social Security Card in the wrong hands can be used to submit fraudulent claims. However, if you do lose your card, contact your local Social Security office at 1-800-Medicare or visit the Social Security Replacement Card webpage to get a new one.

How can I determine what Medicare will cost in 2013?
Depending on your plan and income level the following Medicare Site can give you an estimate of your Medicare monthly premiums for 2013. 

Where can I get more information on the type of Medicare plans available?
With the Medicare Plan Finder you can complete a general or personalized plan search which will provide you with more accurate cost estimates and coverage information. 

I lost my Medicare card. How do I get a new one?
It is important to protect your Medicare card just as you would a credit card. Your Medicare card in the wrong hands can be used to submit fraudulent claims. However, if you do lose your card, contact your local Social Security office at 1-800-Medicare or visit the Medicare website immediately to get a new one.

Can I check my application status online?
Yes. The Social Security Administration’s Application Status webpage allows you to check the status of your completed retirement, survivor, or disability application.

U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao

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