Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere, from Zanzibar to Berkeley Square.

But Patty's only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights.

What a crazy pair!

But they're cousins, identical cousins all the way ...

If these lyrics sound familiar, then you were probably one of the millions of viewers of "The Patty Duke Show." Just for Social Security, Patty Duke -- Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress -- is bringing back the roles of identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane from the 1960s sitcom.

Patty Duke, along with Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue, recently unveiled Social Security's new online retirement application and the launched the agency's Retire Online campaign.

"Like millions of other baby boomers, I like to spend time with my grandchildren, travel or just relax with a good book. And I love the convenience of doing things online," said Duke, who has volunteered her time to help promote retiring online.

"Social Security has made applying for retirement benefits easier than ever before. So when you decide to retire, apply online for Social Security benefits at It's so easy."

Social Security has really simplified filing online. The new online application can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. To apply, go to and click on "Applying Online for Retirement Benefits." You will be asked a brief series of questions about you and your work.

Need to look up some information? You can stop and restart the application without losing any of the information entered. Have a question? There are convenient "more info" links that you can click on to get an answer.

When you're done, just click the "Sign Now" button to submit the application. There are no paper forms to sign, and usually no additional documents are required. If more information is needed, Social Security will contact you.

Remember, if you are already entitled to benefits, there's so much you can do online. You can change your address or phone number, change your direct deposit, or request a replacement Medicare card.

On Feb. 1, you will be able to replace the lost, damaged or missing tax summary, or 1099, for your 2008 Social Security benefits.

To see a demonstration of Social Security's online retirement application and to view the new public service announcements featuring Patty Duke as cousins Patty and Cathy Lane, go to

Questions for this column should be mailed to "Social Security Matters" Attn: James Feyerherm, 1212 E 27 St, Hays KS 67601. All names will be held confidential. Other questions should be directed to (800) 772-1213 or call or visit your local Social Security office. You can also go to

James Feyerherm, is district manager of the Social Security Office in Hays.