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Get to Know Your Social Security

December 14, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 2, 2021

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 our website 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 personal 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.
  • Manage your Social Security benefits and personal information.

We encourage you to visit us online.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


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    • Ray F.

      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!

  3. Mina B.

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

    Have used them several times!!!!


    Is there an increase for 2018 ??

    • Ray F.

      Hi Kenneth. Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 2.0 percent in 2018. See more at Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2018. Thanks!

  5. Charmine R.

    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?

    • Ray F.

      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!

  6. Ramesh J.


    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

    • Ray F.

      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!

  7. Margaret A.

    Why has Social Security charged me so much more for medicare in 2018?

    • Martha S.

      Medicare is separate from SS!

      • Martha S.

        But of course people get angry when they see SS increase taken by Medicare! I think it is just more obama’care’ crapping on seniors!!

        • Truth

          Not True. It is a result of government intrusion, but from an unlikely source for you. This was a problem LONG before the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as ObamaCare.)

          • NeuroGoddess

            Not only that, but trump is going to decrease SS & Medicare benefits with his repugnant congress.

  8. Brian L.

    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.

    • Ray F.

      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!

  9. Daniel A.

    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.

    • Martha S.

      Government abuses people!

      • Truth

        And you confuse people with your misinformation.

    • Snarky

      Changes in medical premiums are based upon medical costs which usually go up. Changes in the COLA are based upon cost changes in essential goods and services. The percentages have nothing to do with each other.

  10. onoriode u.

    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.

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