New rules, old complaints: SSA aquisition encounters protest




The Social Security Administration is accepting requests for
Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statements (PEBES) through its World Wide Web site.


Anyone whose Web browser has the Secure Sockets Layer can ask for a PEBES
electronically. For now, SSA mails out the statements to preserve confidentiality. When
better security and electronic signature capability are in place, SSA will respond on
line.


After starting the new service last month in California, SSA expanded the project
nationwide April 17. To request a PEBES, a user must access the SSA Web site at http://www.ssa.gov  and fill out a form that
includes a Social Security number and recent earnings information. SSA accepts requests on
weekdays between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST and on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST.


Although the application encrypts the data, the agency is warning that transmissions
might be intercepted and decoded. SSA is monitoring the volume of requests and any
security problems.


About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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