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. Steve N.

    I have been trying to get into my account. I’ve put in forgot my password. It takes me to a page that asked user name, social security number and birth date. I put my information. Then it says to check my answers. So I reentered my information and get the same thing. So to see what the problem I went to forgot username. I put the same information and I got my username. Which is the same that I used when I tried forgot my password. I don’t know what the problem is. I also tried to make another account. When I go back to login it asked for my authenticator number. I tried to do that. Wasn’t sure what they mean. So I used the 6 numbers I was given and it said number was wrong. Then I tried the long number it also says thats wrong. On the long number I used copy and paste. So the number couldn’t be wrong. This new system makes it harder to get your own information.

    • Vonda

      Hi Steve, 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!

  2. Mary C.

    I have been locked out of my account since Sept. I requested a temp password online twice and never receive it in the mail. I then called (10/14) and had it sent. When I received it (10/30), the password had expired. Called again (11/1) and today (11/15) I received another letter. Once again when I put in the temporary password it says it has expired!. This is crazy…..there has to be another way to receive the code? I’m totally frustrated with trying to get access to my account.

    • Vonda

      Hi Mary, 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!

    • Lenny

      Try contacting the closes S/Soffice near you.

  3. Damodara

    Hi

    I do not see my profile tab on My social security page. I want to change my address online.

    I have not received any social security benefits till now.

    • Vonda

      Hi Damodara, thanks for reaching out. If you get Social Security benefits (retirement, survivors, or disability) or are enrolled in Medicare, you can create a my Social Security account to change your address online.

      If you get SSI, do not have a U.S. mailing address, or are unable to change your address online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778 or contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

  4. John G.

    Hello, I was online trying to Apply for Benefits, I get to Information about Applicant and get to question: During the last 14 months have you been unable to work (I hit no) and the computer comes up error saying I have to answer yes to the question. I don’t know if I did something wrong but it won’t let me go back and see.
    thanks, John

    • Vonda

      Hi John, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. Please contact 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. We hope this information helps.

  5. Bryan

    Trying to sign up and mistakenly missed a word so trying to find a way to get back. How can I write my 10 back up codes because it’s only given 8 digit to fill up on the site instead of 10.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bryan. We are sorry to hear you are having difficulty accessing your personal my Social Security account. If you are still encountering a problem with your personal my Social Security account, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  6. Cindy M.

    How can I reprint my security codes?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cindy. For help accessing your personal my Social Security account, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  7. Denise

    OMG!! Was on hold twice with local office for 30 min each time then they hung up on me both times after waiting for an hour. I don’t understand why the system is not better managed? I call the help line at 1 800 772-1213 as well and the same thing happen. You apparently can’t talk to a live person. If I want to go in person you have to make an appt. And how do you do that if they don’t answer the phone?
    PLEASE help and don’t tell me to go online. Thanks

    • Vonda

      Hi Denise, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. Please continue to call to speak to a representative. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. 

      If you would like to submit a formal complaint or suggestion, you can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

  8. Kelly W.

    My partner has followed all of these steps 8 times. He gets the letter with a code to reset his login and it never works. He is newly disabled and needs help updating his account. He has been locked out of his SS account for almost two years! This must happen to seniors all the time. It is so frustrating to see him struggle with this. He just needs help.

    • Vonda

      Hi Kelly. Your partner can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or he can contact his local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

  9. Shawn R.

    Pain in the azz trying to log on…

  10. Melissa D.

    Setting up a online social security account has been nothing but a huge headache and dealing with social security representative is 20times worse cause none of them have the same answer so I am so done I’m just going to file a complaint cause it shouldnt been this difficult especially when I work with computers for a living

    • Vonda

      We are sorry to hear about your experience, Melissa. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

Comments are closed.