Online Services, SSI

Five Things You Can Do Online with Social Security

November 16, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 6, 2023

smiling woman sitting on her couchYou 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!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Jana

    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?

    • Ray F.

      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.

  2. AJ

    Surprised no one has asked where their free hammock and dog is….

  3. Jose

    I too have BCBS. Will I be paying two deductables?

  4. pete k.

    applied for disability in the 70’s was turned down can I re-open my claim?

    • Jana

      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.

    • Ray F.

      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!

  5. traci f.

    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.

  6. Gildo P.

    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.

    • Ray F.

      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!

  7. Bob

    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?

    • Ray F.

      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.

  8. Rita W.

    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.

    • Ray F.

      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!

  9. John W.

    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?

    • Ray F.

      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.

  10. Aileen

    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.

    • Jose

      TY Aileen

    • Bob

      Hi Aileen
      I have BCBS FED. INS. ALSO
      Retired, do I need part b?
      if so what are the add. benefits.
      thank you

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