Online Services, Retirement

Going Online with Social Security Isn’t Hard Work

November 7, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 7, 2016

goingonlineSummer is just a memory. Long gone is the day when you fired up the grill with family and friends in the backyard on Labor Day. It’s time to put away the shorts and bring out the jackets.

When you’re raking the leaves, remember that the best part of labor isn’t the single day off you get each year, but the Social Security retirement benefits you earn through the years that you work.

And, just as you choose what kind of work to do over a lifetime, you can choose how you wish to file for your retirement benefits. While some may prefer to apply in person at their local Social Security office, an increasing number of retirees are finding it easier and more convenient to claim their benefits by retiring online at In fact, more than half of all retirees now file for their Social Security retirement benefits online!

When you file for your retirement benefits online, there’s no need to fight traffic getting to a Social Security office, because you can apply from the comfort of your home or office. The process of applying for retirement benefits can take as little as 15 minutes, but if you have to go back to work, you can save your application and return to it later.

If you’re close to retirement, you may want to take advantage of our retirement planner at, where you can get detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits, and what you may want to consider as you prepare for your future.

In addition, you should check out our Retirement Estimator at, which will give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can plug in different ages and scenarios to help you make a decision on retirement even if it’s many years way.

At Social Security, our highest priority is protecting the privacy and security of the personal information we maintain on you and almost every American so you can rest assured that doing business online with us is both safe and secure.

Social Security has the online services to help at, whether you are retiring now, or whether you have many more season changes in your future.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Nancy

    How do persons who “freeze” their credit for security purposes use the SS website?

    • R.F.

      Hi Nancy, you cannot create a my Social Security account online if you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report. However, you should still be able to access our website at If you want to create an account, without removing the security freeze or fraud alert, you will have to visit your local Social Security office. Hope this helps!

  2. James R.

    Password rules are way too cumbersome have to change too often and too many restrictions. Online is certainly more convenient for both parties, just make it easier to sign in.

  3. fermina p.

    please i need to reset my password please HELP

    • R.F.

      Hello Fermina. If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, 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. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  4. Ellen B.

    I find the site user friendly; a few months ago I looked for a “Suggestion Blog”, and did not find one. Is there a blog where SS recipients or others may give suggestions regarding changes in SS we would like. The intent would be propose ideas for SSA improvement in a positive manner, and not be a complaint blog. For example, when computing COLAs I suggest SSA use an index which closely reflects seniors’ expenses, and I suggest the method for determining whether or not income tax is owed on SS benefits (I think it is the same now as when it began in 1984) be updated according to inflation or be indexed, whichever is the appropriate method.
    Thank you.

    • R.F.

      Hi Ellen. Please visit our Contact Social Security page at Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit your comment or suggestion. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

      • DistrictAttorniesAcross A.

        Some stupid formulas are used
        to calculate secured funds
        and it does not apply to contribution people. The amounts
        are outdated and old and do not refect the increases in 20.00 for dinner and 40000.00 for acar. The whole system must be redone.

    • D L.

      I find that those that have a problem may not be computer savvy and that is why they may be having a problem.

    • Marc P.

      Unfortunately, although that’s a great idea, it would be impossible to prevent it from devolving into a complaint forum filled with trolls griping about the government and everything else. Just read the comments following these blog posts. Every single one, without exception, is filled with hateful anti-government rhetoric- complaints about the people on disability being just a bunch of “fakers” who are “too lazy to work,” complaining about wait times on decisions, phone calls, office appointments, and of course slamming the government’s waste, fraud, and abuse,” and spreading the vitriol about how Social Security is a ripoff and it’s running out, etc.

      The problem is that people are willfully ignorant. They can’t be bothered to check facts or even ask questions; it’s easier to just accept as gospel anything they hear, no matter how ridiculous or impossible, and of course, blame the government. People have NO IDEA of the incredible amount of resources our government provides us. Easier to find fault when their personal, individual issues aren’t immediately addressed in the exact manner they want.

      They complain about “their tax dollars being wasted” and demand “smaller government” then rant bitterly at the government’s “inefficiency” when they have to wait – when it’s the CUTS Congress has ruthlessly been making that have drastically reduced personnel, closed offices, and shortened hours. Can’t have it both ways, people. It’s NOT all about you.

      • Toby R.

        How mush do THEY pay you to be a good little boot licker?

  5. Gary






  6. Susan

    The website has always proved to be very user-friendly, has allowed me to calculate my earnings dependent on retirement age and I find it very helpful. I, too, have a college degree but it certainly isn’t necessary on this site.

    • david K.

      I agree, a very friendly site.

      • Ice


    • Marc P.

      I’ve found it extremely helpful and easy to use. All it takes is a little common sense.

  7. John B.

    Where do I find my activation code.

    • R.F.

      Hello John. Activation codes are generally used for our Business Services Online (BSO). If you are having difficulties with creating a personal my Social Security account, 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. Representatives at our toll free number 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 in the day, or later in the week. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. Thanks.

  8. John B.

    Where do I find my activation code

  9. Aye C.

    I have a college degree and find the site not always user-friendly. Some retirees have unusual situations which should be addressed prior to applying. Interesting that I received two different answers for the same question, at an office in New York, and one in Tennessee.

  10. Frederick G.

    estimator did not work for me. I have paid into SS my entire life at max.

    • R.F.

      We are sorry that you were not able to use our estimator Frederick. We have a variety of calculators that can help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. Also, you can create a my Social Security account online. With your personal my Social Security account, you can verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this helps.

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