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. Barbara

    I too am unable to sign in today. Keeps saying invalid password and I have CAREFULLY checked my password and it’s correct. Now I’m locked out of my account. Very frustrating.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Barbara. 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. Julia C.

    Like all the above, i too is having issues. I will try again.

    • Bruce B.

      I am getting a Can’t access” message when I try to log in to my account.

      • Vonda

        Hi Bruce, 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! 

  3. Shawn L.

    This is getting absolutely ridiculous. People may need to log in once or twice a year. Every time I do there is some stupid issue. “Your Password must change every 6 months” “You Password must contain 2 vegetables and a carrot and some special character” “You must sign up for a validation account.” ENOUGH!

  4. Janet H.

    Hello,
    I use to be able to get into my social security account, but for some reason when i click on the link to take me to sign-in, it gives me an error message. Its so frustrating, because i need a benefit letter and am not able to access same.

    • Vonda

      Hi Janet, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing difficulties accessing your my Social Security acccount. 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. 

      You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

  5. Mike

    None of my back up codes are working. And they claim to send new ones but where are they I haven’t been able to access my account in 2 days now

    • Vonda

      Hi Mike, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. We encourage you to continue using our online services and appreciate your patience as we work to get it resolved.

  6. Jeff

    I’ve been trying all day to get to My Social Security. I’ve been using the Login.gov button.

    1) I enter my username & password
    2) I enter the security code sent to my phone
    3) I see the message “you are already logged in w/the following email: “myemail.com”
    4) I click “I agree” to the TOS
    5) I get “We’re sorry. There’s been an unexpected error”

    Please help. Thank you!

    • Vonda

      Hi Jeff, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. We encourage you to continue using our online services and appreciate your patience as we work to get it resolved.

  7. Steve

    I received an email saying that there was a message for me. But when I have tried and tried and tried to get into My Social Security, it takes me in circles then says “Error.” I noticed a SS reply to another person that says keep using the site. If its broken, how do we use it? Since we are told to rely on this site, can you provide some info for WHEN it will be fixed? It’s kind of important.

    • Vonda

      Hi Steve, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. If you have questions about your email message, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance 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. 

  8. daryl

    i cant go pass thru service options after login in.
    it’s either keep on giving me error page or the page will just keep on refreshing after i click my social security option.

    • Vonda

      Hi Daryl, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. We encourage you to continue using our online services and appreciate your patience as we work to get it resolved.

  9. Tim B.

    I am having a problem trying to access my account online. I get the access code to enter but on the page where it asks to select the two buttion (own self vs agent rep) after I hit go it does not do anything.

    • Vonda

      Hi Tim, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. We encourage you to continue using our online services and appreciate your patience as we work to get it resolved.

  10. Anthony B.

    I have never experienced any problems accessing my account online…until today! Does anyone from the SSA ever respond to these comments???

    • Vonda

      Hi Anthony, thanks for using our blog. We apologize for any inconvenience in accessing your my Social Security account. We are aware of some user difficulties and are working on them at this time. We encourage you to continue using our online services and appreciate your patience as we work to get it resolved.

Comments are closed.