General, Online Services

How to Change Your Second Factor Authentication for Your Personal my Social Security Account

September 2, 2021 • By

Last Updated: September 24, 2021

man using digital tabletThis is part three of our three-part blog series, “my Social Security 101.” Miss the first two blogs? You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Did you recently get a new cell phone number or email address? If you did, you will need to update your personal my Social Security account to reflect the new number or email. You will be required to use the second factor process to access your account. Second factor authentication provides an extra level of security for your account. Here’s what you need to know to help you keep your account safe and secure.

To update the second factor authentication on your account, go to the Sign In page. Enter your username and password. Then, follow these steps:

  • On the page that asks you to “Please verify your cell phone number” or “Please verify your email address”—depending on which one is currently listed as your second factor, choose, “No, it is no longer valid and must be changed.” If you registered both your cell phone and email address, you will get a screen with both options. Choose this option to let us know that you can no longer access it.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Enter your mailing address and primary phone number in the “Provide Information” page.
  • Click “Mail Reset Code Instructions.”
  • Then, click “Done” on the next page.

After completing these steps, you’ll receive a letter by mail in 5 to 10 business days. Your letter will contain a reset code and step-by-step instructions for changing where you receive security codes.

When you receive the letter with your reset code, go to the Sign In page, enter your username, and include your password. Then, you can:

  • Click “Sign In.”
  • Click “Yes, let’s begin” on the “Do you have your reset code letter?” page.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Fill in the appropriate field to let us know how you want to receive your security code—whether by text message or email.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Enter the security code you received—by text message or email—in the space provided.
  • Then, click “Submit Security Code.”
  • Enter the reset code from your letter on the following page.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Then, click “Next” again.
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Click “Next.” This will take you to your my Social Security account.

Be sure to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for any additional questions—and check out our most asked questions and main topics. Please share this information with your friends and family—and subscribe to our blog for the latest updates.


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Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

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    • Sharon J.

      So difficult!!! I followed all the directions and it kept telling me the code was wrong! I now have to wait 10???

      Reply
      • Mikel F.

        I have been trying to open an account for month’s. This is the 3rd time I’ve been told they’re sending me a code yet it never shows up. I’ve had my phone number for 5 yrs and everybody else knows it’s me when they call but for some reason ssa can’t figure it out and just text me my code. I’ve spoken with 6 different representatives already over the last 60 days. All I want to do is open my account. I am so frustrated with this process.

        Reply
        • Patty

          Hi Mikel. We are sorry to hear about your experience. Check out our Blog: How to Change Your Second Factor Authentication for Your Personal my Social Security Account. If you still need assistance, we have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline to assist with your account issues. You may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or 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.

          You can also submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page.  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 a compliment, complaint, or suggestion.  Thanks!

          Reply

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