General, Online Services

Are You Having Difficulties Accessing Your Personal my Social Security Account?

July 1, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Are You Having Difficulties Accessing Your Personal my Social Security Account?This is part two of our three-part blog series, “my Social Security 101.” Did you miss the first blog? Please be sure to check it out.

We understand how frustrating it can be when you can’t remember your username or password, or perhaps the answers to your security questions. Fortunately, we have some tips for you to access our online services.

How to Recover Your Username

If you need to recover your username, go to the Sign In page and select “Forgot Username?” under the Username field. You will enter your email address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Then, select “Next” and you will see your username automatically inserted in the Username field for you.

The Second Factor: What You Need to Know

When you registered for a personal my Social Security account, you identified either your email address or cell phone number as your second factor for authentication. Each time you sign in to your account, we send you a one-time security code to either the email address or cell phone number you provided when you registered for your account. You will need access to that second factor as you go through the steps to reset your account password.

What to Do if You Forgot Your Password

If you forgot your password to your personal my Social Security account, you can request a temporary password to gain access. You can go to the Sign In page and select “Forgot Password?” You will then enter your username, Social Security number, and date of birth.

From there, select “Next” and you will be prompted to enter answers to your Password Reset Questions. If you remember your Password Reset Questions, provide the answers in each text box. Confirm your cell phone or email address where you should receive a one-time security code. Please enter the security code you receive, and select the “Submit Security Code,” and you’ll have the chance to update your password. Follow the prompts. You will automatically see the Terms of Service and after accepting the terms, you will be signed in to your account.

What to Do if You Forgot Your Password Reset Answers

If you don’t remember the answers to your Password Reset Questions, select the “I can’t remember my answers” and follow the prompts.

Instructions if Your Second Factor is Your Email
If you registered your email as a second factor, follow these steps:

  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Select “Next.”
  • You’ll come to the “Provide Information” page where you’ll enter your mailing address and primary phone number. Please note that we only need your phone number to verify your identity.
  • Select “Mail Temporary Password.”
  • Then, Select “Done” on the next page.

After completing these steps, you’ll receive a letter by mail in 5 to 10 business days. Your letter will contain a temporary password and step-by-step instructions for creating a new password.

When you receive the letter with your temporary password, go to the Sign In page and enter your username and your temporary password. Then, you can:

  • Select “Sign In.”
  • Verify your email address on the following page.
  • Select “Next.”
  • You’ll receive a security code via email—and you’ll enter the security code on the following page.
  • Select “Submit Security Code.”
  • You’ll then create your new password on the next page. Select “Next.”
  • Then, select “Next” again.
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Select “Next.” This will take you to your personal my Social Security account.

Instructions if Your Second Factor is Your Cell Phone

If you registered your cell phone as your second factor, follow these steps:

  • Select “Email Temporary Password.”
  • Check your email for your temporary password.
  • Return to the Sign In page.
  • Enter your username and the temporary password.
  • Verify your cell phone number and check “Next.”
  • Enter the security code you receive on your cell phone.
  • Then, select “Submit Security Code.”
  • You’ll then create your new password on the next page. Select “Next.”
  • Then, select “Next” again.
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Select “Next.” This will take you to your my Social Security account.

In part three of this blog series, we will cover how to change your second factor authentication for your personal my Social Security account.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

  1. Jere M.

    When I originally created my online SS account, I used my email as my user name. I tried to sign in this morning and it says SS is no longer using email addresses for user names. It has an area to sign in if you created your account before Sept 2021 which I clicked on but it didn’t work. The local SS office is permanently closed so I can’t go talk with anyone. Can you provide me guidance? Thank you
    Jere

    • Vonda

      Hi Jere, thanks for using our blog to reach out. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.

      If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

  2. Brigid R.

    I was asked security questions that I answered knowing they were right and your sight says my answers are wrong and I am blocked out, what do I do? So frustrated. It says to send my address in but this could show up on a security report of some kind. This shouldn’t be so complicated.

    • Vonda

      Hi Brigid,  thank you for using our blog. We are sorry that you are having difficulty accessing your my Social Security online account. If you are locked out, you can call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps! 

  3. Ellen S.

    I keep trying to access my account. Made updates with login.gov entered all the information and it takes me back to the same page. Tried everything, can’t remember user name, it can’t find me. How does someone log in to SS?

    • Vonda

      Hi Ellen, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.

      If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

  4. Mark

    I am trying to help my dad regain access to his account.
    He setup his account using an email he no longer has access to.
    He does not remember the answers to the security questions.
    He does not remember his password.

    I am able to get to the part where you can get a temporary password, but he is unable to access the email used for this as it is no longer in service.

    What are my options to get him signed back in, or to recover / change his login info?

    • Vonda

      Hi Mark, thank you for using our blog. We are sorry that your father is having difficulty accessing his my Social Security online account. We have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, have your father call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. You can assist him with the call once your father speaks to the representative. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Your father can also contact his local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps! 

  5. Jane G.

    I live in the U.K. and cannot verify my Social Security Account under the new system as there are no options for entering addresses outside the USA except for military personnel.
    The website asks for State and Zip Code I don’t have either as I have no address in the U.S.
    Nor do I have a U.S. phone number so I can’t use that as my U.K. phone number doesn’t have an area code.
    Please advise what ex-pats can do to access our accounts online. Thank you.

    • Vonda

      Thanks for the question, Jane. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  6. Robert J.

    When I click on “sign in” the response says the site is unreachable. I have gone into my social security in the past and never had a problem, until now.

    • Vonda

      Hi Robert, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.  If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

  7. Enkil I.

    I can’t access my account either. No matter what I do, I keep getting the error message that says “we cannot process your request at this time. please try again later.” even when I don’t type in my login information and just hit the button to go to the page that has me enter it. The site is seriously broken and I hope y’all fix it because this is infuriating. I’m disabled and I really don’t need the extra hassle from a system that is supposed to (in theory) HELP people like me.

    • Vonda

      Hi Enkil, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.

      If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

  8. marci j.

    You are already signed in with the following email: – I have set up my account a week ago and have yet to be able to get into the online service – the login just re appears with login screen then i get the above message and hit conintue and go into a loop for verification over and over and over again

    • JAMES V.

      Yep that’s what I get

    • Vonda

      Hi Marci, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.

      If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

    • Mike M.

      Make sure you are entering the site by using this url->

      https://www.ssa.gov

      Problems can occur if using a secondary like this ->

      https://secure.ssa.gov

    • Tony S.

      1) Log in with username/password.
      2) Receive and enter 2-step verification code.
      3) “We need to know more about you…”
      4) “You are already logged in”, click [Continue].
      5) “We need to know more about you…”
      6) GOTO 4
      7) “Thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear…”

      • Vonda

        Hi Tony, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about your experience and understand your frustration. Please reach out and speak to a representative. You may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

  9. Todd E.

    “We cannot process your request at this time. Please try again later.”

    This is the message I get for trying to log into my wife’s account (on her behalf) for over a week of trying. I log into my account no problem. Cannot break out of the endless loop even though I entered valid username & password. I’m getting security codes through text and email fine, but the Social Security website has locked out the textbox to type it in. Nuts!!!! Please advise.

    • Vonda

      Hi Todd, thank you for using our blog. We are sorry that your wife is having difficulty accessing her my Social Security online account. We have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, your wife can call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). She can also contact her local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps! 

      • Kym A.

        I created my account last month (Oct.) & I keep getting this message: *We cannot process your request at this time. Please try again later.
        If you need immediate assistance: please contact us.* I called 1-800-772-1213 I was told to go to Login.gov which I did not see so I came here. This has been almost a week since I’ve been able to access my social security account.
        Emails if needed, albany13@aol.com, Kiikii13Eddie22@gmail.com Or feel free to text me 216-402-6462 I have a severe speech impediment so talking especially on the phone is an issue for the person I am speaking with as well as myself.
        Thank you,
        Kym

        • Vonda

          Hi Kym, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you created a my Social Security account before September 18, 2021, go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and click on “Sign In” and then click on “Sign In To My Account” where you enter your username and password using the boxes on the far right. You do not sign in using login.gov or id.me because you created your account before September 18, 2021.

          If you continue to have difficulties, call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps.

  10. Greggory D.

    I have repeatedly tried to regain access to my online account but to no avail. I have been told everything from you should expect to receive information by mail to we are unsure why you continue to have problems. The same computer, internet provider, and IP address have not changed in more than 5 years. During that same period my address has changed 3 times. How can I regain my access or have my account reset? Thank you. Be well. Stay safe.

    • Vonda

      Hi Greggory, thank you for using our blog. We are sorry that you are having difficulty accessing your my Social Security online account. We have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps! 

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