Get to Know Your Social Security

man reading on laptop in kitchen Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American. We’ve been with you from day one, when your parents applied for your Social Security number, and we are with you from your first job through your retirement party and beyond.

For more than 80 years, Social Security has stayed true to its mission of providing financial protection for the American people and has served as one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our nation’s history. We encourage everyone to take steps toward their financial security. Regardless of your age or place in life, now is the right time to start planning for a financially secure future for you and your family.

Everyone can benefit from our first step: Get to know your Social Security. You can start your journey through all things Social Security by visiting and navigating through our menu.

Along the way, you’ll see how your Social Security number opens many important doors throughout life, from making it easier to apply for student aid and open your first bank account to starting your first job and buying your first house. You’ll also discover how your contributions to the Social Security system through FICA payroll taxes can make you eligible for important future benefits when you reach retirement age or if you become severely injured or ill.

You’ll find how Social Security helps your family in the form of survivor benefits and how our Supplemental Security Income program assists disabled children and our most vulnerable adults.

We also encourage you to visit our website and set up your own my Social Security account today so you can begin taking steps toward financial security.

Through our website and your online account with us, you can:

  • Verify your lifetime earnings record to ensure you’re getting credit for all your contributions toward Social Security and Medicare;
  • Estimate future benefits for you and your family; and
  • Manage your Social Security benefits and personal information.

We encourage you to visit us at


121 thoughts on “Get to Know Your Social Security

    • I know. Today is 12/30/17 and I get my check 3rd of the month. My bank balance shows that SS made a deposit pending the 2nd of Jan 2018 for $243! I don’t know what this is for, especially since it is short by $1,029! Can’t call either, they’re closed! I’m terrified!

    • There must have been a rounding error, we were supposed to take all of your raise. I’ve got people looking into this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

      • Medicare is separate from SS, but I also am cynical because of all the Fraud and government mismanagement that steals our tax dollars! And the Medicare raise from $109 to $132 did take All of my 2% raise of SS! So of course Fed Gov Sucks!!

        • There are so many people who have to pay much more for their insurance than you do. In addition, they are effectively paying for your Medicare and SS right now. Let’s all be thankful for what we have.

  1. I cannot log into my Social Security website to discover my benefits. I accidentally locked myself out because I had forgotten my password. In order to unlock it, I must provide a USPS address. As I am homeless, this isn’t going to happen. How can I log back in?

    • If you don’t have an address to get a temporary password mailed to you, you can always go to your local Social Security office with I.D. (a drivers license, state I.D. or U.S. Passport) and they can issue you a temporary password on the spot.

      Another option is, you can go to the login screen for the MYSSA account and under where you would put your password, you can click the “Forgot Password?” button.

      You would then put in your personal information and then click next. Then your 3 security questions that you picked when you first set up the account will come up. If you can successfully answer those 3 questions, the system will then let you make a new password.

      I hope this helps.

      • Individuals can speak to a Social Security representative for help with a my Social Security account between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Toll-free: 1-800-772-1213 After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” please say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account.
        Note: Although our regular telephone service representatives are not available after 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, our Help Desk representatives can assist you until 12:00 midnight Eastern Time. TTY (for deaf or hard of hearing) 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.: 1-800-325-0778. Thanks!

  2. I need someone to callme back at 3156375951 about the pay for 2018 and if I can get extra help for prescription drugs somne people get more than ido etc


  3. I live in Cuenca, Ecuador. I have not been able t receive my year-end statement(to file taxes. I did receive a notice acknowledging my address change when I first came here in Jan. of 2016. However, nothing since. I cannot use the “My Social Security ” site because I do not live in USA. The mail situation is atrocious!
    What can be done?

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience, Albert. 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. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits.
      Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps!


    • That is the way this system works….work enough quarters , get the coresponding credit, and apply when this criteria is met……………..

      • The 1997 Balanced Budget Act requires that 25% of Medicare costs are covered by premiums. Therefore, the premiums increase to cover those costs. In 1987 they enacted the Hold Harmless provision of the Social Security law. Most Medicare enrollees have their Part B premium withheld from their monthly Social Security benefit. For those individuals, a hold-harmless provision guarantees that a benefit check will not decrease as a result of an increase in the Part B premium. The dollar increase in the Part B premium for a year is compared to the dollar increase in the Social Security monthly benefit. If the dollar increase in the premium is larger than the dollar increase in the Social Security benefit, then the increase in the Part B premium paid by the beneficiary is limited to the dollar increase in the Social Security benefit. However, this applies to about three quarters of Medicare beneficiaries. So, if they cannot raise the cost on three quarters of the beneficiaries, the costs of the premiums for the remaining 25% will raise faster and farther to accommodate the law. So, this means when you do not have a raise in your premium due to the Hold Harmless provision, the rest of Medicare subsidizes your premium discrepancy in their premiums. So, when the COLA comes out and is larger than the increase in the premium, you will have your premiums raised to offset the earlier premiums you did not pay.

        • When there is an increase in the Medicare Part B premium, a statutory “hold harmless” provision protects approximately 70 percent of Medicare Part B enrollees from paying a higher Part B premium to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit. Enrollees not protected include higher income individuals subject to an income-adjusted Part B premium and beneficiaries newly entitled to Part B in 2018. Additionally, enrollees who have their Medicare Part B premiums paid by state Medicaid agencies will see no change in their Social Security benefit. The state will pay any Medicare Part B premium increase. For more, visit “2018 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles“. Thanks!

  5. Yea,…it’s just too bad that even when we’ve earned all those points to retire, OR, have other reasons to need to make claim to the funds we’ve been putting, (like disability!), we have to fight like hell for it,…even though is is OUR MONEY!!
    When are you people going to learn that that money is NOT yours to do with what you want,….it is ours!! It’s our retirement finding!!

  6. Ss stole half my money plus made me take Medicare as primary ins at age 45 after working from age 18 years old. In factory’s with 60 hours or more a week. I went out for operation only next thing o knew I was almost homeless forced to apply ss job had private plan wrote letter pay me and husband ins since he had no job at all that that would be primary I would get 60 percent pay check All this next thing my mom dies after taking care of her bed ridden 9 years. I become very very sick of course found out now it has to do with all 7 toxic chemical poisoning I have from working at these factories that didn’t tell me that I was working with or using gloves to work with. So had no dr that wanted me dropped me day got Medicare on spot. Called company called ss called Medicare called entire phone book. Everyone and anyone. I wrote to five different labor boards if put together I’m owed 300000 now from paying husband ins over200 a month x 8 years until I separated. Now they admired but say too bad It’s too long now. Lost entire life saving took 402 k got total disability on four months so I was told only 10 percent took 30 then profit sharing gone and 3 m stock also after told can’t have anything they gave. So I know now I’m going to retire with same 380 a month at 19 dollars a hour if I brought home 700 a week at age 25 how at age 42 at 19 dollars a hour with sometimes 7 days a week forced plus extra 6 hours a day can I only geyn39000 end of year tell me this. Also tell me why I have at least 20 to 30 or more pay stubs that 401 taken out but no 3 m matched I gave up because I got robbed from 2002 to 2016 who cared no one because if no money lawyer took every dime have metal posion hip no money Medtronic stimulator for pain wasn’t missed recall no money mess hernias 6 no money. 7 toxic metals from factory’s no money no ins stole stock pension life saving now no ins got two grant for medical bills only already

  7. Are you “frigging:” kidding me. My big wonderful SS raise was a measly $4.00. The Government sucks and so does SS for a promise of an increase since 2015 is not just $4.00. The big brothers in the Government got more than all the seniors in the USA. I am sick of all the working life I gave to the USA and the SS that was taken out and now at 79 yrs. all I got was $4.00 bucks. BFD, I can get a burger at McDonald’s with fries.

  8. Thanks for the COLA increase!!! I realized a net gain of $2.00 – thanks to increase in Medicare, etc. Perhaps I should send this $2.00 to our Congress personnel. It’s time for those making the laws to bear some of the pain that they inflict!!!!

      • That is not true. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act calls for 25% of Medicare costs to be paid for by your premiums. Hold harmless was enacted in 1987 (Reagan Years) to keep your premiums from being more than the raise in your COLA. They cannot raise your premiums if you are protected by hold harmless. But they have to have premiums that cover the costs due to the 1997 law. So, they raise the premium on everyone who doesn’t have Social Security. So, when you do have a COLA that is more than the premium is raised, they offset what you didn’t get charged before.

  9. I enjoyed this story. Many Americans are counting on Social Security. Unfortunately, the stored funds have been depleted throughout the years by acts of congress. They borrow from the fund but never pay it back. The return on our money over a lifetime of deposits is not too impressive.
    I too am counting on SSA to provide some funds for my retirement. Unfortunately, my new retirement age of 66 years 10 months is fairly unreasonable. My parents generation retired at 60 or 62. Now I’m looking at 7 years later.

  10. After receiving 2 forms to show I have been covered with health insurance till 11/30/2017 while on disability 8/17/2015 my 65th birthday was 6/26/2017 I have been contacted by social security that they would charge me 139 when it is to be 109,so do I once again have more p/w to file?

  11. Thank sir, for open my benefits retirement and reported to me on 12/15/2017 my address 201,9village,banphan,phonnakaie district,sakonnakon, Thailand 47230 Tell +660881937865_0879363314!

  12. Onoriode unuajohwofia a Nigeria learning more with the USA army online goarmy member,army strong,gijobs and career,military spouse current student Drexel university online college of computing and informatics really appreciate learning more about my card social security number to continue my enlistment with the USA army military online.Thanks so much for this comments opportunity.Jehovah almighty bless American always.

  13. This year we received a 2% COLA increase and it was made a big deal, and it should. However, the (My) medicare deduction from social security increased by 22% which cancelled out the COLA . Deduction went from 110 dollars to 134 dollars. How can this be justified as a cost of living increase or benefit. I would love an answer.

  14. Dear Social Security:

    Thank you for the articles that you send to my E-Mail. They are educational and informative. Have a Happy Christmas to everyone at Social Security. You help so many people. Thank you.
    Sincerely, Brian L. Reynolds.

    • We’re pleased we can help. We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come. Happy Holidays to you as well, Brian!

  15. Sir,

    I am a citizen, was about to retire by Mar-2017 at the age of 69 Years and I am expecting about $ 1,100 per Month as my S.S benefit.

    My wife who was 63 years and a permanent resident and never worked.

    Can my wife claim any spousal benefit along with me when I retire? If so, approximately how much she can

    • Thank you for your questions, Ramesh. Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be able to get benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving retirement benefits. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance. At age 69, you can apply for your benefits online at any time now. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of March, you will receive your first benefit payment in April. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information. Congratulations!

  16. So glad to see this area for a comment. I created an account for my Social Security, even to the point of creating answers for security questions, and I can never get signed on when I try! What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Charmine, 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. Thanks!

  17. I have always found the riverside Social security Office and their personnel the most helpful and friendly !!!!

    Have used them several times!!!!

    • Hi William, 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. Thanks!

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  19. In re: Health and Welfare.

    Congress has not sufficiently studied the annual cost of their tax bill, to reconcile with me in my current first degree arson preoccupied state of victimization, and not are all their tax ideas are entirely legal, nor will the author of their federal budget surplus have the time to look into it until after the raising the high bar of arson within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction under 18USC81. To solicit my analysis it is absolutely essential that all tax relief be listed in a table, for me.

    I am too busy crying about a second count of P.L. (Police Library) Human Trafficking on Dec. 14 of a Notice of Appearance published, served by mail and tolerated for two weeks after the trial date. The only reason that Congress is pressing this tax relief bill again for Christmas, is that their accountant has now been twice victimized by a human trafficking city cop who must be dishonorably discharged for obstruction of justice for kidnapping the author of the Commissioner’s Courthouse and Police Chief’s inbox, and there is no way that is professionally possible for Congress do the requisite public review of a precise annual tax relief costs to revenues. Congress will need to stop being greedy or Sanders clause will surely go to prison because they are so naughty. Congress must display the table totaling the annual cost of the tax relief proposal to receive comments from the public until at least after the State of the Union Address, by which time the University where I am hoping to open a law college, will have found a prison where I could continue to serve the nation, without having to lecture the offending human trafficker on tampering under 18USC1512 (1) subtracting total congressional budget requests from revenues to determine how much cuts can be afforded, (2) analyzing the tax bill for the public review of what the budget surplus finds to be an affordable economy and (3) finish the national case of arson within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and stop worrying about the litter removers being evicted the moment they clean up, the lovers who defeated knife wielding racist on the bike path, for a short while, before one was charged with $100,00O OR bond for trespassing in a publicly owned forest park and of course capturing and killing those notorious falsely accused wood chucks of slash piles, chippers off to the Mediterranean climate shrubbery – fire arson sawyers today (FAST).

  20. What is SS doing about All the Fraud?!
    Millions of people during obama years went directly from unemployment benefits to disability benefits!
    No way that is legitimate and you know it!!

    • That is also completely false. There is an incredibly long period of wait to be approved for disability benefits. And, again it was that 1996 congress. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996 (Welfare Reform) was enacted to move people out of welfare and into work. Welfare reform has increased the financial incentives for state governments to promote movement by recipients of assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to the Supplemental Security Income program. Thereby increasing the number of people on assistance from Social Security. In fact, From 1996 to 2002, the total number of welfare recipients in the nation declined by 58 percent (DHHS 2003b, II–5). From 1990 to 2003, the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries increased 84 percent; disabled widow(er)s, 105 percent; and disabled adult children, 24 percent.

  21. I have a question. There are many individuals on social security Why cannot the government build houses for these individuals charge them rent put the rent money back into the social security system.

    • Hi John, 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. Also, you can call your local Social Security office directly and explain your situation. Thanks!

  22. I get free SSDI and VA disability money. The VA doesn’t even use a Vocational Expert to determine if you are unemployable. The SSA use to give the VA rating weight. Those veterans in the past are getting free money for life from Social Security and the VA.

  23. Social security- “When in doubt deny”

    The jokers are DDS, who arent even trained to examine medical evidence literally deny everyone.

    They use ODAR to adjudicate claims. Meanwhile claimants become homeless and starve to death because SSA won’t release their OWN money.

    Social security, you are a joke!

  24. receiving disability benefits each month via SS , yet, I’m also 100% disability thru the veterans administration, do I qualify for any additional benefits?

  25. It’s unfair for you to keep taking all of our COLAs everytime we get increases. Its not keeping pace with inflation. I used to be able to pay rent and eat human food. Now I have to have a roommate in 1 room and eat dogfood.. lift the earnings cap!

  26. I would like to know why 100% of Americans are saying the same thing and it seems like social security is not listening I think its a way for the government to get Medicare a raise .All the things social security says about all the features and ways you can live on SSI is all BULLSHIT No one can live on just SSI income then the Government makes them feel good about giving people a raise Knowing that Medicare is taking the raise away why not give us Americans a bigger raise but only take 2% away for Medicare. I know for a fact that the Government Don’t want people to live on or make a living on SSI income No matter how disable you are they still want you to work so then when you make X amount dollars they can take your SSI check away. Every time I get a raise The Government finds a way to take it away I need The raise So I cane support my family and feel like a man that is doing something for my Family Please give me my raise so I can live like an American and be happy.

  27. You Know the bigger the raise the more we will spend so why not give a raise that we would be happy and then one way or another you the Government would get it back .


    • Hi Michael. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to 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!

  29. i cannot sign in to my Social Security account due to the fact
    that I do not have a middle name. The form you provide kicks me out!
    My phone no is 516 816 9292 and my e-mail address is . My name is Robert Sabatini

  30. i’m young i am 16 and i’m applying for jobs but i cant because i don’t have my social security number what can i do to get it ? my mother as it but i don live with her no more and my father don’t no information for me

    • Hello Reona, if you are under age 18, you may either sign yourself, or a parent or legal guardian may sign for you. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity to replace your Social Security card. In your case, if you do not have one or you cannot get one within a reasonable amount of time, we may be able to use other documents such as school identification card or a health insurance card.
      Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age).
      To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a replacement card, please visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page.
      When ready, you can take or mail the application with your documents to your local Social Security office or to the nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

    • Hi Gary, we prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity to replace your Social Security card. If you do not have one or you cannot get one within a reasonable amount of time, we may be able to use other documents such as:
      •Employee identification card;
      •School identification card;
      •Health insurance card; or
      •U.S. military identification card.
      Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age).
      Also, realize that you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important.
      To see if you’re eligible to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, please visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page. We hope this helps!

  31. I have a friend here in Germany, her husband past away 8 years ago. And she is 60 years old and asked me at what age can she apply for his or her Social Security. I told her i would check into it for her.You you be so kind and tell me?

    • Hello Maurice. As a widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, your friend could start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled).
      The benefit amount would be based on the earnings of the person who died. The more he or she paid into Social Security, the higher the benefit amount would be. At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivors benefits. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States and needing assistance with their Social Security benefits, contact the nearest Federal Benefits Unit or U.S. Embassy in their area. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. Thanks!

  32. I was not aware until recently that I could delay my retirement and take spousal benefits instead. How far back can I go? Can I get back pay for the time that I was eligible?

    • Hi Connie. You may be able to get spouse’s benefits but, under existing law, if you are eligible for benefits both as a retired worker and as a spouse, you must apply for both benefits and you’ll receive the higher of the two benefits. This requirement is called “deemed filing” because when you apply for one benefit you are “deemed” to have also applied for the other.

      However, if you turn 62 before January 2, 2016, deemed filing rules will not apply if you wait to file at your full retirement age or later. This means that you may file for either your spouse’s benefit or your retirement benefit without being required or “deemed” to file for the other. See our Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits FAQs web page for details.

      We do allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after you have reached your full retirement age. No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before reaching your full retirement age.

      To inquire about your benefits, you will have to contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  33. I had help on my previous attempt to recieve ssdi benefits. I gave the person permission to answer and so forth questions pertaining to my application. I have forgotten my email address given and have no idea what my password into my account is. The person whom was helping me has gone back to school I am told. I am trying to continue my process. Can u help me out here please? I appreciate your input very much.

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