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

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  1. SG

    Received email to review statement online. Tried to login. Used two different devices and login methods (one through third-party site). All methods seemed to authenticate and showed indication that page had completely loaded. The browser screen was blank except for a scroller tool (apparently) to select retirement age and a tool for getting help. Please have your web site team investigate this issue. Thanks for all you do.

    Reply
  2. Jim

    Hello SSA !!!!!

    Why am I not getting the code in the mail you say you will send in 5-10 days to allow me to complete my online access on my account?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Jim, 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 select the prompt “For help with registering or using the my Social Security website”. 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!

      Reply
      • Jim

        Vonda,

        The 800# you gave me does not have such a prompt saying “For help with registering or using the my Social Security website”. My local social security office is closed. None of the options you stated are available to me hence my online application is “pending” because I can not get the code to activate my account. Is there any way I can call and get my account activated over the phone?

        Reply
        • Patty

          Hi Jim. Thank you for your question and we apologize for the confusion. For clarification, when you call our national toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, if you say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt a representative will assist you with the your personal my Social Security account questions. Also, Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors, however we are available by phone at your local office and through our online services. We hope this helps.

          Reply
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  4. Mark J.

    My sister is trying to open a my Social Security account & has not yet received via U.S.P.S. the account activation code they said would arrive in 5-10 days (business days I guess) but it has been over 2 weeks and she just received an email from SSA that the account activation code was about to expire . She never received it. I guess U.S.P.S. problems . What should she do ?

    Reply
    • Jim

      I am having the same problem!

      Reply
    • Tina L.

      Same here!

      Reply
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  6. Diane C.

    I am having difficulty accessing https://secure.ssa.gov/mySSA/start
    After entering username/password/access code and selecting the I AGREE button Ireceive the following:
    Error 403: AuthorizationFailed

    Reply
  7. Tim C.

    On all my Apple devices, I am having difficulty accessing the Overview page on SSN.gov. After entering username/password/access code and selecting the I AGREE button, the webpage hangs/spins. It works fine on my PC.

    Reply
  8. C N.

    I sign in to account but site does not load.

    Reply
    • Tim C.

      I am having the same issue

      Reply
    • Jane L.

      I have the same problem. I have always been able to log in before on my iMac, and just recently my husband used it to sign up for Medicare with no problem. The last week I sign in, enter security code, accept conditions and the page stalls.

      Reply
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  10. D.P.

    I am trying to create a username for my account and ever username I put in will not work and I am not sure why? The usernames I am using do not include SSN or any part of my name. I even tried using no numbers, to see if it was mistaking one or two numbers for being a “SSN”. I then tried random assortment of letters that did not use any letters that are found in my name, and still..I click next and it says I can’t use it because of “name” or “SSN”.

    What do I do?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi D.P., thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to retrieve or change your username and password. If you still encounter difficulties, 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 “helpdesk”; or contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • diane j.

        trying to get into my medicare account & I forgot password. then computer went into a loop cycle. spent 2 Day on I have my card &it &then called 1-800 # &they reset password, but when I put in what they told me to, would not work.they said they could not help more. how am I supposed to access my account? please help me.i have had medicare since 06-2007

        Reply
        • Vonda

          Hi Diane, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. You may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

          Reply
    • Elsie E.

      I tried getting on to see my information unfortunately unable tried many times many ways, can you please send my information via mail ,

      Reply

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