If you need to know the number to your local Social Security office, take a deep breath and look at your other Social Security contact options first.
Although many experts say it’s best to avoid visiting your local Social Security office in person because offices are understaffed and wait times are long, you may need to know SSA’s local address and phone number. Understanding the thousands of rules that apply to your Social Security retirement benefits can prompt many questions. Although Social Security’s Program Operations Manual System, (also known as POMS) can help, interpreting the language or applying the rules to your situation can be challenging or frustrating.
If you have questions but can’t find the answers, contacting Social Security in person or by telephone is a sensible solution. You may have questions about where to go and the individual(s) to ask. Gratefully, SSA has three ways for you to get the information you or a loved one needs to make decisions about retirement benefits. You can contact SSA online, by telephone, or making an in-person SSA office visit.
Contact Social Security Online
Social Security Administration’s website, SSA.gov, is logically designed and user-friendly. Review SSA’s online service at “What You Can Do Online” to save time. For instance, it’s possible to apply for SSA benefits, estimate future retirement benefits, learn about Medicare services, or access your Social Security Statement online. SSA’s drop-down menu makes it simple to find the information you need to answer questions or complete a necessary task.
If you haven’t already done so, open a My Social Security Account to view your Social Security Account and perform many of the tasks on your Social Security retirement benefits checklist.
Although you can access SSA.gov most of the time, you should know there are site hours of operation (EST). For instance, you can’t apply for SSA benefits:
From 1:00am to 5:00am on business days (M-F), or
Earlier than 5:00am on Saturdays, or
Earlier than 8:00am on Sundays
Contact Social Security by Telephone
If you can’t find the Social Security benefits information you need online, calling Social Security by phone may be your next step. Contact the primary Social Security helpline at 1-800-772-1213. During the helpline automated system, you can:
Request your Social Security Statement of benefits
Ask for a Benefits Verification letter
Inquire about a claim status
Ask for a replacement of your Social Security card
Obtain your local SSA field office address
Get information about or assistance with Medicare-related matters
If you need to speak with a live representative, there’s someone available help on business days (M-F) between the hours of 7:00am to 7:00pm (EST). Social Security recommends calling on Tuesday or Wednesday to reduce your on-hold time.
Contact Social Security In-Person
If you’re just beginning to research a Social Security retirement benefit-related matter, you may wonder if it’s necessary to travel to SSA headquarters to resolve it. The good news is, SSA has a wide network of field offices throughout the United States. You don’t need to travel great distances to get the information you need.
If it’s necessary to resolve your Social Security matter or answer your question about Social Security at a local Social Security field office, allow ample time for the visit. Don’t plan to visit an SSA office on a lunch break or before work. Your wait-time without an appointment can be up to two hours.
If you need to visit a Social Security office, get the local SSA address at the SSA.gov locator. You may also obtain the local field office phone number or ask the general Social Security help line agent (1-800-772-1213) to arrange a meeting. It can take several weeks to get an appointment with your local SSA office but, because you’re likely to wait a long time without one, be patient. Gather your information, print and fill out forms you may need to submit, and remain patient:
According to SSA, local field offices are under-staffed these days. Budget cuts and greater numbers of applicants for Social Security benefits are one of the reasons that people may be lined up more than an hour before the office opens for business.
It’s also important to understand that the SSA representative might not be able to handle the matter or answer your question at the meeting. He or she may need to research the matter or review the documents you brought.
Know that SSA can’t recommend when you should claim benefits or provide ideas about how to maximize your Social Security benefits. These decisions are up to you and/or your financial adviser.
Some financial experts say it’s a good idea to visit more than one SSA field office if you’re asking questions about a complex matter or if a representative tells you that certain benefits aren’t available to you. If you’ve researched the matter, or if your question leads you to a SSA field office, it’s acceptable to get multiple estimates of your benefits.