Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

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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285 thoughts on “Getting Married Soon? Give Social Security Your New Name

  1. Jonathan William Stocker born May 20,1993
    Belinda Louise Cochran born June 15,1982
    Just got married on June 8,2020
    Belinda need to change her information and her last name to Stocker.
    Jonathan William Stoker has payee Michelle Schwartz

  2. Hello,
    I have been married for 26 years. I retained my maiden name with social security and on my driver license and passport. I file taxes under hyphenated name combining both names . The IRS matches my SS# to my maiden name which is first in the combined name.
    I do NOT wish to change my name with SS , I do not want a new card.
    I am going to create a online SS account and I want to be sure they know I am married. Is there anything special I have to do when I set up my account ?
    I do not work, and someday I will apply for benefits on my husbands record because I’m not eligible on mine.
    Thank you

    • Thanks for using our blog, Joan. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a Federal needs-based program designed to help aged, blind and disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. In some cases, your state may help pay for Medicare premiums. You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage. To see if you qualify for SSI benefits, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please 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.

  3. I got married on June 1st and I’m not sure how to get a new social security card I have the form does don’t know where to mail it I need to change the card from Cardenas to Blair my mailing address is 1200 Griffith way Lot 10 Douglas Wyoming 82633 full name is Elizabeth May

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