How To Get a Social Security Account Online and Why It Really Matters

social security account online

Did you know, whether you're receiving benefits or not, you can set up a social security account online? The name of this online service is my Social Security. It's your online gateway to social security benefits and resources. Setting up this account gives you control of your social security record. It also gives you convenient access to your information and many online services.

Benefits and Services

If you have Medicare or receive social security, use my Social Security to:

  • Request a replacement social security card if you meet specific requirements.

  • Report your wages if you work and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

  • Get your benefit verification letter.

  • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

  • Opt-out of receiving mailed notices.

  • Check your benefit and payment information.

  • Change your address and phone number.

  • Start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.

  • Request a replacement Medicare card.

If you don't receive social security benefits, use my Social Security to:

  • View retirement benefit estimates at different ages.

  • View retirement benefit estimates for dates when you want to start receiving benefits.

  • View possible spouse's benefits.

  • Request a replacement social security card if you meet specific requirements.

  • Check the status of your application or appeal.

  • Get a letter proving you don't receive benefits.

  • Get your social security statement to:

    • View estimates of your future benefits.

    • Verify your earnings.

    • View the estimated social security and Medicare taxes you've paid.

If you're a representative payee, you can:

  • Use the Representative Payee Portal to conduct your own business.

  • Manage direct deposits, wage reporting, and annual reporting for your beneficiaries.

  • Get current benefit details, update or enroll in direct deposit, and get proof of income letter for your beneficiaries.

  • Complete and submit Representative Payee Accounting Reports.

  • See the status of any completed Representative Payee Accounting Report.

  • Receive a receipt for any report you submit.

Creating Your Account

To create a my Social Security account, go to ssa.gov and find the link to my Social Security to start your application.

Username and Password

Be ready to provide a username and password that you'll use only for this account. The longer your password, the better. You'll need to use symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters. Don't use family names, birthdates, or anything personal. A secure password manager can generate random passwords for you. LastPass is free to use as a secure password generator. A password manager, like LastPass, is an excellent tool for managing your passwords.

Problems Creating an Account

If you have a fraud alert on your credit report, you can't create a my Social Security account online. To solve this problem, ask the Identity Services Provider to remove the alert.

You can still create a my Social Security account if you don't remove the alert, but not online. You'll need to do it in person at your local Social Security office.

Verification Process

When you set up a my Social Security account, you'll go through a State ID verification process. To verify who you're, you'll need to provide identifying information. You'll also need to answer security questions.

To complete the State ID verification process, be ready to provide your:

  • Name

  • Social Security Number

  • Date of Birth

  • Home Address

  • Cell Phone Number (suggested)

  • Email Address

  • State ID Document

You may need to provide your State ID information (driver's license, state identification card, or learner's permit). This is to prove your identity. You'll be able to upload pictures of the front and back of your state-issued ID or enter it manually.

You'll need to provide information only you should know, such as:

  • A few numbers from your credit card

  • W-2/Self-Employment information

  • Social Security direct deposit amount for verification

The Social Security Department matches the personal information you give with their records. The extra measures taken are safeguards for verifying your identity. These safeguards also protect your information.

The Social Security Administration uses an external data source to verify your identity. This process also prevents fraudulent access to your sensitive personal information. They refer to this external data source as the Identity Services Provider (ISP).

Three things to know about the ISP service:

  1. It's a free service.

  2. It won't change your credit score. Your credit report will show that Social Security made a "soft inquiry." Lenders can't see soft inquiries on credit reports. Soft inquiries are usually removed from your credit report after 12 months.

  3. There are no other inquiries to the ISP when you use your my Social Security account.

What You Can't Do

You can't create an account on someone else's behalf -- even if someone has given you written permission. You can only create an account using your own personal information and for your own use.

Help With Your Account

If you can't create a my Social Security account or have a problem with your account, call the helpline or contact your local office. The nationwide toll-free number for help at the Social Security Administration is 1-800-772-1213.

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