According to the Social Security Administration, almost 20 million Americans have created a “My Social Security Account” on the SSA website. If you’re looking for the easiest possible way to manage matters relating to Social Security benefits, the Social Security My Account online tool can help you access enormous amounts of information about your Social Security account by computer and allow you to monitor confidential personal information about your Social Security benefits. Managing your Social Security My Account is a relatively simple task.
Social Security My Account reduces the need to communicate with Social Security by phone or mail. The Social Security My Account saves time. Although people without Internet access can still monitor their Social Security matters the old-fashioned way, it’s now possible to manage Social Security in a more convenient way from your home. There’s no need to spend as much time on the phone or wait for information from Social Security by mail.
How to Sign Up for Social Security My Account
Start by visiting Social Security My Account sign up page. This step is a bit more complicated than opening other web-based accounts because you’re inputting confidential personal details. After you provide your personal Social Security number, name, and address, you’re asked to confirm your identity by answering questions about current or previous financial matters. You may be asked about previous addresses, employers, or the bank that holds your mortgage. That’s because SSA works with Experian, one of the nation’s top three credit reporting agencies, to generate confidential questions and then confirm your answers to them.
Although you can’t access Social Security My Account on a 24/7 basis, you can view your account on weekdays (5:00 am – 1:00 am EST), Saturdays (5:00 a.m. – 11:00 pm EST), and Sundays (8:00 am – 11:30 pm EST). After your Social Security My Account is activated, changing your contact information or bank details for direct deposit purposes is a breeze. It’s also possible to obtain a verification letter of your Social Security benefits directly through the site.
Social Security My Account Convenience
If you haven’t already accessed Social Security benefits, it’s possible to get a future benefits estimate through your account. You’ll be able to view a personal and confidential annual statement online that shows how much you may receive on retirement, if you are disabled, or if your spouse dies before you do.
Checking your earnings history is something you’re responsible for, and the Social Security My Account makes this step easy. When you retire in the future, your Social Security benefits are calculated on your earnings history. Make sure that Social Security has accurate information to make the most of your benefits.
There are some things you can’t do online, however. If you’re interested in comparing current benefits based on a former or deceased spouse’s earnings and your own more recent earnings record, you must contact Social Security to do so. Contact your local office via 800-772-1213 to arrange an in-person appointment.
Reasons to Schedule a Social Security Office Appointment
If you’re considering a request for Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), you’ll need to make your request in person at a Social Security office. SSI provides benefits to disabled adults and/or children with limited financial resources and income. Call Social Security to schedule an appointment in that case.
If your Social Security card is stolen or you need to request a name correction on your SSA card after marriage or divorce, you must visit the local office. Bring supporting documents to verify your identity, such as a marriage or divorce certificate.
You can’t correct erroneous financial information online. You must contact Social Security by telephone about your former or deceased spouse’s earnings record or your own. To correct the information, you can appear in person with support documents or fax/mail records to your Social Security office. If you need to transmit many documents, a personal meeting may ultimately prove the most time-efficient way to resolve the issue.
Request Retirement Benefits Online
You can now request retirement benefits by completing your retirement application online. Social Security says it takes most people less than 15 minutes to complete. After you complete the application, Social Security contacts you if additional documents are required. You receive an e-confirmation and, with this confirmation receipt in hand, you can check the application status later. If you’re close to full retirement age for your birth year, it’s also possible to use the SSA retirement application to apply for Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Social Security My Account Tools
SSA also provides useful online calculators so that you can estimate future retirement or possible survivor or disability benefits. These calculators are for your use and aren’t connected to your personal Social Security earnings account record. Use SSA’s Retirement Estimator to estimate your future benefits with greater accuracy. This tool uses your SSA work record and doesn’t require you to input information.
Social Security My Account and Full Retirement Age
Review SSA website details about full retirement age for Social Security purposes. Full retirement age for persons born between the years of 1943 and 1954 is 66 years of age. After 1954, the full retirement age increases a bit and reaches 67 for persons born in 1960 or thereafter.
Protecting Your Social Security My Account
Protect your Social Security My Account in the same way you protect all confidential personal and financial information. If you receive an email that says it’s from Social Security asking for your personal information, it’s a phishing scam. If the email threatens consequences if you don’t provide your Social Security in a responding email, contact your local Social Security office. Don’t click links in these “phishing” emails, either, because it’s possible for scammers to access your computer. Contact the SSA Inspector General or call 800-269-0271.