TODAY'S PAPER
Clear 31° Good Afternoon
Clear 31° Good Afternoon
BusinessColumnistsCarrie Mason-Draffen

Local Social Security office best bet for credit problem

Social Security Disability claim form.

Social Security Disability claim form. Photo Credit: Getty Images

DEAR CARRIE: I have been using a credit card to reimburse the Social Security Administration for a disability overpayment to my daughter. Unfortunately, Social Security is not crediting my payments to my daughter’s account. My credit card statements show that the agency has taken my payments, but nobody can tell me whom to contact to have these payments properly credited. Whom can I contact to straighten out this situation? — No Credit for Card

DEAR NO CREDIT: I turned to Linda Lauria, spokeswoman in Social Security’s New York Regional Office in Manhattan, for help.

She recommends that you go to your local Social Security office with your credit card statements.

The local office, in turn, will contact the Philadelphia-based Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center, which processes credit- card and other payments received by the Social Security Administration, Lauria said.

“If his statements are showing that payments are being made to SSA but his daughter’s record is not being credited with the payments, the local SSA office will need to contact [the processing center] to resolve the matter,” she said.

DEAR CARRIE: I have worked for my company for 10 years. About three years ago I was injured on the job and have been collecting workers’ compensation. Now my employer has been sold, and the new owners have no local jobs available. What happens to my workers’ comp case? I hope I won’t have to reopen my case because of the sale. If I do, how do I get the info I need? Who would be the responsible party? Will it be my former employer, which will be closing its doors, or the new owners? — Comp Limbo

DEAR COMP: I believe the answer from the state Workers’ Compensation Board will ease your fears and confusion.

It’s worth mentioning at the outset that employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical benefits and lost wages to injured workers, a state Workers Compensation Board spokesman said. The employer either buys an insurance policy through an insurance carrier or it self-insures, he said.

The sale of the company shouldn’t affect your workers comp coverage, barring any hang-ups such as the insurance company having difficulty in getting information from your previous employer. Here why:

When a company has a workers comp insurance policy, the insurance carrier pays the benefits for that claim, the spokesman said.

“Insurers are responsible for paying benefits over the entire life of that claim,” he said. “Workers would deal with the insurance carrier regarding their claim, regardless of who owns the business.”

Even if the company you worked for was self-insured, the sale shouldn’t interrupt your benefits, again barring any administrative problems. Self-insured companies pay for benefits themselves, though they generally rely on a third party to administer them.

When a self-insured business is sold, “the sale agreement determines whether the new owners take over existing claims or if the first owner remains responsible for the claims,” the spokesman said.

And you can put your mind at ease about whether you have to re-establish a claim because of the company’s sale.

“Workers do not need to reopen a workers’ compensation claim,” the spokesman said. “They would just pursue benefits in the usual manner.”

The Workers’ Compensation Board can help with questions regarding a claim, including determining who is responsible for claims in that instance, the spokesman said. Call the board at 877-632-4996.

More news

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to Newsday is free for Optimum customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE