Five Things You Can Do Online with Social Security

5 things you can do onlineYou want to enjoy the fall weather, and Social Security’s online services free up your time to lounge in a hammock in your backyard or take your dog on a long walk. You can safely and conveniently conduct most of your business with us anytime, anywhere. There’s no need to visit a local Social Security office.

When you’re ready to retire, you can do it online in 15 minutes or less. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits has never been easier! The secure site will only ask questions pertaining to your situation, and we provide links to more information. There are examples to help you along the way.

With a my Social Security account, you can also get your Social Security Statement showing how much you paid in Social Security and Medicare taxes through your working years. You can use your Statement to verify your earnings history so that you receive the correct payment amount when you become eligible for benefits. And speaking of your future benefits, your Statement also shows estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits.

And, when you need it, you can get a benefit verification letter to prove you receive Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare. Your personal my Social Security  account also allows you to change your address if you’re already receiving benefits, and to start or change your direct deposit information.

You have all that at your fingertips, and you never had to leave your hammock!


98 thoughts on “Five Things You Can Do Online with Social Security

  1. I have been unable to work since 2011. I have been denied by Social Security over and over again. I’m 6 months out on a newly broken leg and have to have more surgery because the leg is not healing at what point does social security decide I’m crippled enough to receive benefits?

  2. I opened an account a long time ago. I forgot my username and password. Can I open a new account or otherwise reestablish my credentials?i

    • If you know the email address you set up the original account with you can click on forgot my password and a new temporary password will be sent to you.

    • Hello Douglas! We are sorry you are having difficulty with your personal my Social Security account. For assistance, please call 1-800-772-1213. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  3. the guidelines for disability have not been revised since 1978 and need updates to reflect current conditions….there are many rejections because sufferers either do not meet the guidelines or do not present sufficient evidence that they do…some lawyers can help for a large fee but even they are sometimes denied.

    • No you cannot and ssi has nothing to do with foodstamps yoy can get a application sent to you online but you still need to show up to your local office to receive benefits.

      • That is dependent on the state where you live. In New York, you can do the app online. Then they will want documentation sent to them. If they want to see you in person and you can’t travel there, you can do a phone interview.

    • Yes you can apply for food stamps online, at least in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Which are states that I am familiar with.

    • YES you often can! Depending on the state you live in, there are different websites that can help you do it. Your State’s Dept of Health is where to start. If it’s available where you are, you’ll be asked to mail in your documentation. Some States will let you upload it. The modern world is encroaching on Food Stamps (now known as SNAP). You might be required to have a phone interview as well.

  4. The article is true – it is easy to apply and receive support. I applied for SSDI on-line and received it inside of 3 months. I found the on-line process to be ez because the process was designed for the form-phobic. It had only a few questions per screen. You could stop and save the effort at any time. You could correct anything. Bravo to the design team.

    • Thank you Mary! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward. Please continue to use our services online.

  5. Does my spouse need to be retired in order to receive the 50% spousal benefit? She is 66 years old, still working until June 2016, and we do not want to lose this benefit come June. Thank you, Joe

    • I think you have to be receiving SS for her to get spousal SS. If you are not; you can file and suspend (the strategy that is being discontinued soon). If you ARE receiving or file and suspend she can file a “restricted application” and receive 50% of your FRA benefit or if you took it early 50% of your benefit because SHE is FRA. At FRA she won’t lose some of her benefit because she is working which is what would have happened if she applied for early SS..

    • Thanks for your question Joe. It appears that at 66 your wife has reached her full retirement age. She can now file for benefits and continue to work. Please read our publication How Work Affects Your Benefits for more details. At full retirement age, she can receive full retirement benefits on her own record or receive half of yours. If she is eligible for both, we pay her own benefits first. If her benefits as a spouse are higher than her own retirement benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling a higher amount.
      Your wife should contact her local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for more information about her situation. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, callers have a shorter wait time if they call later in the week. We hope this information helps!

  6. I am an 88 year old veteran confined to a wheel chair and live on my benefits from social security and the veterans administration. I need a small short term loan for holidays will Social Security loan me $300.00 with me paying back in monthly payments in Jan., Feb., and March of $100.00 each month. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • You can get a signature loan or title loan or checking account loan at just about any check cashing store for the holidays just call around just watch your interest rate.

  7. I would expect to see clearly a bulleted or numbered list of five things that I can online with SSA. I think that the important information gets lost in the narrative format. It makes the readers work to ferret out the things they can do online.

      • You can apply for social security retirement benefits, SSI, SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid. Each option is explained at my social security online.

      • This would be particularly desirable for the emails that get sent out announcing a new blog entry. This would permit readers to quickly get top-level information and determine if they want/need more by clicking to a web page with the full post.

        The email for this particular entry was unfortunately free of actual content: “You want to enjoy the fall weather, and Social Security’s online services free up your time to lounge in a hammock in your backyard or take your dog on a long walk. You can safely and conveniently conduct most of your business … Continue reading →”

        A succinct, bulleted summary would be perfect for each email and also act as a table of contents of sorts for the blog posting itself.

        Much appreciate all of your efforts with this blog, which definitely has useful information. Hope this suggestion can make it even better.

        • Thanks for your comment Kent ! We value your thoughts and suggestions as we look for ways to improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated

  8. I am currently 62 years old, my husband passed away 15 years ago. Did not take widows benefits. Can I collect now off his his benefits and continue working?

    • Yes, you can receive widow’s benefits and continue to earn delayed retirement credits on your own benefit. However, survivor benefits are subject to the earnings test until you are full retirement age.

    • Thank you for your question Donna. If you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. (age 50 or over if you are disabled). At this time, if you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record (but haven’t applied yet), you may have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date. You can work while you receive Social Security benefits, but if you make more than the yearly limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. Please read our publication: How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information. To make an appointment or to speak to one of our representatives, call our toll free number 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  9. I applied for disability, got it and started to receive it in August of 2015. Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare(Part ?) after 2 years on disability? Also, I have private insurance(family coverage) which I continued from my previous employer(civilian federal government employee). Is the medicare just for me or will it cover my family? Is it advisable to keep my regular insurance and also have medicare? Is there a benefit to having both? Thanx.

    • I was automatically enrolled in Medicare 2-1/2 years after date of disability. However the Cobra plan I had from the State I worked for was not available once I had Medicare. That’s okay because I no longer had to pay $450/month for premiums.
      But Medicare is only for you, not family. So you may be able to keep your private ins.
      Check with your current insurance Before it gets to that point.

    • Good questions Jose. You will receive Medicare after you receive disability benefits for 24 months. We start counting the 24 months from the month you were entitled to receive disability, not the month when you received your first check. We will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you will have the option of turning it down. We strongly suggest that you speak to your health benefit advisor or health plan representative to see what options are best for you. Medicare does not provide family coverage. We hope this information helps.

  10. YES, keep your card. If it is Blue Cross/Blue Shield, it will pay most of what medicare doesn’t pay. I retired fro the Feds in 2000 and still have my BC/BS.

  11. Do I have to make an appointment at a Social Security office to determine if my benefit amount may be more by claiming under my former spouse instead of my own? If not how may I do it on line?

    • Hi John! If you were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, you may be eligible for benefits on her record at age 62. To see additional qualifying criteria see our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced. If you are also eligible for Retirement Benefits on your own record we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on her record is a higher amount, you will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount (reduced for age). To find out if you are eligible for a higher benefit and to discuss your options, contact us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit your local Social security office. Thanks.

  12. In that I live out of the United States, I appreciate the ability of being able to complete more and more on line. Can you tell me why it is that the Social Security Administration continues to request “proof of life” ( marriage, work, etc.) forms ONLY via the mail. It takes a month to receive your form, and the trip here in Costa Rica to the Post Office is an a One hour drive, to mail it back.

    • Hi Rita, and thank you for the feedback. Any document needed as proof of an entitlement factor must be an original document or a certified true copy. If you have any questions related to Social Security, you may contact the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica by phone or email. Our Office of International Operations (OIO) home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  13. Eight years ago I applied for early SS benefits on my own account and suspended spousal benefits from my spouses FRA.
    I have now reached 70 and would like to convert to spousal benefits under my spouse’s account.
    How do I do this and will I receive more than 50 percent of my spouses FRA as well as widow(er) benefits in either case?

    • Unfortunately, your questions are a bit more complex than we can address in this blog. We urge you to call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Or, you can contact your local Social Security office directly.

  14. I reside in Panama and receiving benefits since 2012. However, I feel discriminated because we cannot establish an account to view or benefits and submit changes and docs on line as our stateside peers. Why? If it’s for security reason then we should be able to at least view our benefits on-line.

    • Thank you for your question Gildo, we apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate you trying to use our online services. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or to 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. For assistance related to your Social Security benefits, you may contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama by phone or email. Also, our Office of International Operations (OIO) home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  15. It took me 9 years to get disabled in a ma. court, started as work comp. Yes, I got back money but had to pay bills for 9 years. I have nothing now, and live on $800 a mth. I have to live in with my boyfriend, I can not support myself on that kind of money, if a senator mother lived like that he would raise holy hell.

    • No, I believe you have to open a new claim. I would think with that many years ago your claim was closed many years ago. I do believe there is a time limit on how long a claim remains open. If I remember correctly you have 90 days to respond on an open claim; otherwise that claim gets closed; therefore you have to open a new claim.

    • Thank you for your question Pete. You will have to file a new claim. Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.
      If you think you are disabled, you can apply for disability online. If you are eligible, you will still need to complete your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application at your local office. Once you’ve completed the online disability application, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to have one of our representatives schedule an appointment for you with your local office. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this helps!

  16. If I start receiving SSI or SSDI would my husbands income be included in determining the amount I would receive? My husband and I are separated and live in different households would that effect my benefits should I start receiving benefits?

    • Thank you for your question Jana. Your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid based on your previous work and you paying into the Social Security program, other income will not affect your monthly benefit amount. The Supplemental Security Insurance Income (SSI) benefit in the other hand, is paid to disabled individuals with limited income and resources, and we must consider the income and resources of family members living in your household. If you have specific questions, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  17. How many dollars help can I and my wife get for payments I can not make for medicine , in particular “Imbruvica ” if I return to it , if my wife and I have an income of about $2822. monthly , if possible , from Medicare , and what is least amount monthly that now AbbVie charges for it ? And who for 2016 has an acceptable Medicare Advantage plan . It appears as though Humana does not have one like previous years , nor Aetna, and Medical Mutual is too expensive for Imbruvica ? So here comes the question related to United States Government vs. Digital Equipment Co. (1983) , settled out of Court “Who are AbbVies ‘Most Favored Dealers’ for Imbruvica as defined in that lawsuit ? Please send a copy of this to my e-mail and to

  18. I have been receiving Social security since last year. I want to take out a percentage this year to pay taxes next year. How do I do this? I can’t seem to find anything on the website or do I have to call.

  19. Applied for Ssdi month ago just happened to look on my account saw a verification letter that said there was no cost living allowance but my benefits amounts was below which was blank is that a good sign of approval, my daughter checked hers it says you have not applied for benefits which is right just wanted to see if hers was like mine. I’m 53 have spinal stenosis and DDD and herniated disc and Forman plus diabetes and anxiety haven’t worked since 2/16/2016 what do you think my chances are I’ve got MRI and XRAYS Doctor says on scale on 1-10 my spine is a 7 I’m in chronic pain most of the day and have to sit or stand or lay down for periods at a time I’m a bus driver thanks in advance foe any feed back thank you.

  20. is it possible to receive SSI if l am receiving my early retirement? l recently had to go on my retirement because of medical problems which in the past, was told not eligible for disability. l have Diverticulitis and been in and out of hospital several times with this anything to do with SSI l am 63years old I get 599.00 a month on my early retirement that is my only income.

    • Hi Debbie, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. Generally, when you apply for disability benefits, we take applications for both programs: the SSI program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. If a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply. You can call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment and to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
      You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. We hope this helps!

  21. How can I cash out my social security, I feel waiting until old age is not fair. I been working since age 17. I have been living in poverty since young child. This is money I worked for .. Again I Dont want to wait ..I need my money I paid in out. What can I do?

  22. How can I apply at FRA and THEN suspend benefits on-line?? I have completed except for signature my benefit application – did not see any where how to suspend benefits.

  23. I’m helping a friend who is struggling to understand her SS benefit. She receives an SSI benefit and would like to get married. Her finance does not have an income. Will getting married effect her benefit?

  24. i was getting ssi in califoria but i want to prision got out a want to start my aid back they denial me so i had to move out here and was still appealing it and now it has been three year i want be fore the judge and he denial me and now i appleaed that and disablitiy justuice told me to let it go and stat over but they are reviewing my case and it will take up to 12 month what should i do

  25. Hi! my name is Jody, I recieve ssi disability, I had a rollover accident in 2005Broke 8 ribs and fractured crushed my left wrist,had a bruise on my lung. I havent been right since. I tried to work in 2006 for about 6 mo and i cried and was grouchy. felt like someone was stabbing me with knife and if I go to long without sitting down for a spell then it starts in with the stabbing pain. i was a cook in a restaurant before i got hurt went back to work for a week they fired me, said I didn’t know how to use a computer, no not at that time but was willing too learn.

  26. I tried to start a S.S. account and it ask for my phone number and I have a prepaid cell phone it did not accept my number. I am working on a SSI application and I used the phone number where I live with a friend. The number is in my friends name. I saw that you should leave it blank but the cell phone is in my name. Don’t understand why it was rejected.

    • Thank you for using our online services, Linda! Please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account.

  27. I received and IRMMA adjustment on my 2017 Social Security payment for 2017 of nearly $200 per month due to a substantial capital gain on a stock sale in 2015. My 2016
    and 2017 Adjusted Gross income is back to what has been normal for the last several years. Will this adjustment be
    eliminated for 2018? Do I need to take any action to see that the IRMAA will be eliminated?

    Thank you

  28. My email address is I moved on November 29, 2017 to 5450 S. Fort Apache Road, #265; Las Vegas, NV 89148 my phone number has remained the same 702 444 7004. I want to find out also if I could get a higher amount from social security, based on his earnings? Also, I worked for the NYC Housing Authority for about about 3or4 years 1964 to 1967 or 1968, but they said I did not have any right to a pension, so I wanted to check my earnings for those years.

  29. My wife and I both receive benefits and have My Social Security accounts.
    However, I have been unable to change our mailing address because I work for the US Army in Japan and we have an APO AP address (PSC 704, Box 3494, APO AP 96338).
    I have mailed an address change to your international office hard copy but nothing has happened.

  30. I turned 65 this last November at which time I was told my benefits letter required for property taxes was mailed not long after my birthday the 18th and should have had it 10 days after according to an agent? that in theory means it should have been here before Christmas,to date1/24/18 it is still not here?? why? this is insane is it not?
    I have a life and cannot hang on the phone for hours waiting for a simple(so I thought) always drains my phone battery also ,they are not inexpensive if you can get one.I know I had to get one after the last time I called. in other words it is not happening again.suggestions?I need the paper version the online account thing does not work with my county tax bureau.

    • If you need proof you get Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security (SSI) Income or Medicare, you can request a benefit verification letter online by using your my Social Security account. If you can’t or don’t want to use your online account, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
      Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later during the week. Thanks!

  31. I went down to the social security office to get my name and address changed.Why did I get a benefits letter with my name before I was married and an address that I had before I was married? Is there any way to get a correct benefits letter.

    • We apologize for any inconvenience, Judy. One of our representatives should be able to help you and provide you with an explanation. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  32. I need to make a appointment in the Hemet office as soon as possible.
    I have called and the wait time is anywhere from an hour to two hours. I can’t do that during business hours . I can’t wait that long
    Please help.

    • Hi Anita. Some of our local offices do offer walk-in appointments; however, these appointments are on a first come, first serve basis. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that many of our services are conveniently available anytime at our website. You can even apply for Social Security benefits online.
      We encourage our customers to create a my Social Security account. With a personal my Social Security account, you can get estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, review your earnings record and much more.
      We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  33. I have to pay higher premiums for my Medicare Part B plan due to my income. Am I required to get the prescription drug coverage due to my income even though I am covered by my supplemental insurance plan?

  34. I was wondering if my retirement benefit included credit for active duty service? I was on active duty from 1973-1977.

  35. Do I have to pay federal and Maryland state taxes on my social security checks that I am receiving?
    If I do, how do I have them deducted from my social security checks?

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