Ask Finney: Fixing Social Security errors, travel insurance importance

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1:
Ru from San Jose asked: My cousin received a social security statement, but the SSA 1099 has the wrong social security number on it. How can she file her income tax with an incorrect statement?

Answer 1:
She can't and shouldn't until the error is corrected with the Social Security Administration and they send an updated 1099. The concern here is not just filing her income tax, but also making sure she's been getting the correct benefit amount since the numbers are different. The quickest way to get something done here is to go to the agency's website and open a "My Social Security" account. That way, she'll have access to verify her earnings and make sure those benefit amounts are correct.

Question 2:
Chad from Union City asked: I'm finally taking time to travel around Europe and thinking about spending extra for travel insurance. Is it a must, especially when travelling outside the US?

Answer 2:
Yes. Your health insurance doesn't work overseas, so you need travel insurance to cover hospitalization. You'll also need the insurance to get you back to the states, maybe in an air ambulance. If you want, you can buy insurance that covers the trip itself, like if you can't go, trip interruption, lost luggage and such. Do not buy travel insurance from the provider of your vacation. If they go under, you will lose the vacation and the insurance.

Question 3:
Ramiro from San Jose asked: What do you do if you have mold in your home and your landlord doesn't want to fix it?

Answer 3:
Contact the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement department and ask for an inspection of the mold in your home. If there's enough dampness or visible mold in your home that poses a danger to your health, you're living in substandard conditions and the landlord is required to fix it. One thing to keep in mind, rentals are hard to come by so consider talking to your landlord again or cleaning it up yourself .

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