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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Retirees who need to replace Social Security forms can call if they lack internet access; in-person appointments for ‘dire’ problems only

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Question: I accidentally shredded my SSA-1099 benefit statement. How do I replace it? I don’t have a computer and my friend told me the Social Security office is closed. I need it to do my taxes.

Answer: As your question implies, the Social Security Administration prefers that people handle these types of tasks online, by creating a “my Social Security” account at Once logged in, an account holder can click the “Replacement Documents” tab to download and print a replacement SSA-1099, the agency says, as well as retrieve other information.

However, help is available over the phone for people like you, who lack secure access to the internet; we’ll list the contact numbers below. Also, your friend wasn’t quite correct. Hawaii’s Social Security Administration offices are closed for walk-in service, but in-person service is available on a limited basis, by appointment only and only for “dire” situations, according to the agency.

Your problem isn’t dire, because you can request a replacement over the phone. Local representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the following toll-free numbers:

Honolulu: 1-855-572-4879

Kapolei: 1-855-572-4866

Hilo: 1-855-572-4860

Wailuku: 1-855-572-4863

Lihue: 1-855-572-4842

Or you may call SSA’s national customer-service line, at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.

The TTY number for people with impaired hearing or speech is 1-800-325-0778.

The agency explains on its website that the SSA-1099 is a tax form it mails each January to individuals who received Social Security benefits the previous year. The form shows the total amount received so individuals know how much to report on their income tax returns.

Nonresident aliens who received or repaid Social Security benefits last year would get a SSA-1042S instead.

People who receive Supplemental Security Income do not receive a form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S. SSI benefits are not treated as taxable income.

Q: Regarding renewing an expired license without retaking the written or road tests (, would that apply if my license expired in 2018? First I was out of the country and then I was hospitalized and in rehabilitation and then the pandemic hit. My driving ability is not impaired.

A: No, because if your license expired in 2018 that means your one-year reactivation period would have expired in 2019, before Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency proclamation period began on March 16, 2020.

As the state Department of Transportation explains on its website, expired Hawaii driver’s licenses whose one-year reactivation period ends within Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency period are eligible for renewal without re-testing.

Currently, the emergency period extends from March 16, 2020, through April 13, 2021, although that end date seems likely to be extended.

So the earliest a license could have expired to be eligible for this exemption is March 16, 2019, according to the DOT’s explanation.

Q: Are bars allowed to reopen?

A: No, bars and nightclubs remain closed in Tier 3 of Oahu’s COVID-19 reopening strategy. Read details at


On Friday there were three tables waiting to go into Palace Saimin on King Street. After we were seated, we were enjoying our delicious saimin and barbecue. When we were done we found out that the couple in the corner table had paid for the other two tables. I was lucky to be at one of them. I just wanted to say mahalo and thank you for being so generous. I will pass this on and do this for someone too. — Carol

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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