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Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

June 2, 2016 • By

Wedding-SeasonEvery year, June marks the beginning of two busy seasons: summer and “wedding season.” With joyful expectation, many of us have already marked our calendars and started wrapping up our plans for the vacations, ceremonies, and honeymoons. While the betrothed work out the details, Social Security wants to remind them about one detail that’s extremely important: the “record” Social Security keeps of your life’s earnings.

For many people, a wedding often means a name change is in order. If you are legally changing your name, you need to apply for a replacement Social Security card reflecting your new name. If you’re working, also tell your employer. That way, Social Security can keep track of your earnings history as you go about living your wonderful new life.

If you have reported income under your former or maiden name, and didn’t inform us of a change, we might not have received an accurate W-2 and your earnings may have been recorded incorrectly. This is easier to fix now — when you first change your name — than years from now when you retire, when it may cause delays in receiving your benefits. This is important because we base your future benefits on your earnings record. So, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), to find out what specific documents you need to change your name and to apply for a replacement card.

Last year, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry regardless of where they live within the United States. As a result, Social Security recognizes more same-sex couples as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. We recently updated instructions for employees to process claims and appeals when a determination of marital status is necessary.

With these changing rules, we encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for benefits to apply now. You can learn more about our policies for same-sex couples at www.ssa.gov/people/same-sexcouples.

After the honeymoon, you can focus on your career or starting a family, moving to a new home, and securing a well-deserved retirement. Now, you’re all set. Let the celebrations begin!


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Comments

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  1. Rasunda E Assogba

    I’m trying to find firms so I can change my last name i got married so now I need to change my last name

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Rasunda, thank you for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. If you do not want to mail in your documents, which will be returned, you may need to wait for the offices to reopen. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. Victoria Hamm/Baack

    I have applied for a replacement card with a name change because I was married. It’s been 3 weeks and I was wondering when I could expect it. I’m curious because I have an appointment at the DMV beginning of next month to get my license updated and renewed. It took me over 2 months to get that appointment and need my card ASAP.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Victoria, thanks for using our blog. Please call your local Social Security office. 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
  3. George Korkidas

    Change main name to married name

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi George, thank you for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. If you do not want to mail in your documents, which will be returned, you may need to wait for the offices to reopen. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Teri Girdner

    I was recently married and I need an address to send my marriage certificate and application to. The person at the Apache Junction was very short and did not offer this information. I am in the zip code of 85132. Thank You

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Congratulations, Teri. Our Social Security Office Locator provides your local office contact information including their mailing address. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  5. Gary L Thibodeau

    I am in Canada carring for my Parents I just Got married to a canadian Women what do I have to do for her to recieve benifits I can’t get through when I call.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Congratulations on your marriage, Gary! According to current policy, a spouse must meet a 1 year duration-of-marriage requirement just before filing for the spousal benefit. Check out our Benefits For Your Spouse web page for more details.

      You can use the Canadian Service Area Directory to determine which Resident Office is near you if you have additional questions. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  6. Ek Duje Ke Vaaste 2

    Wow, so why should anyone expect the Gartner APM MQ, In the last year or currently moving forward?!?

    This has to be a total conflict of interest, so that you have to tell me that the two people he has named Will Cappelli and Cameron would not be heavily influenced by the Jonah guy in his brand new perch at AppDynamics? I kind of feel duped and this scenario seems dirty. This guy Jonah leaving to have a cushy VP job at a business he allegedly provided unbiased investigation for the previous 4 years, why should anybody believe a word coming from these documents.

    Ek Duje Ke Vaaste 2

    Reply

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