General, Online Services

my Social Security 101: When You Need Additional Help With Your Account

May 20, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Sometimes we need help with or have questions about our online accounts. For your convenience, we want to share some frequently asked questions you may find helpful with your personal my Social Security account needs.

What if I forgot my username or password?

It happens to all of us on occasion. We can’t remember our username or password. If you’ve forgotten your username or password – perhaps even both – we have you covered. Visit our my Social Security Sign In page and select “Forgot Username” or “Forgot Password.” Follow the prompts, and in just a few minutes you will be back in business – Social Security business.

What if I am locked out of my account?

Your account may be locked because you – or perhaps someone else – entered inconsistent or incorrect information. We lock your account to protect your information. If you are locked out of your account, you can call our my Social Security Help Desk at 1-800-772-1213 from Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET. When you call, say “Help Desk” at the voice prompt.

How can I block access to my account?

We know that in certain instances, like for victims of domestic violence or identity theft, you may want to block access to your information.  You can choose to block any automated telephone and electronic access to your Social Security record. When you do this, no one, including you, will be able to see or change your personal information online or through our automated telephone service.

Please call us at 1-800-772-1213 or call your local Social Security office if you need to block access to your record. You can find the number for your local office using our Office Locator. If you change your mind in the future, you can contact us and ask us to unblock it.

What if I live overseas?

At this time, you must have a United States mailing address to create a personal my Social Security account. People with an overseas APO/FPO/DPO address can create an account, but our system does not yet support registration for users with a foreign address. However, you may be able to access our services by creating an ID.me account. ID.me is a Single Sign-On provider that meets the U.S. government’s most rigorous requirements for online identity proofing and authentication. On our my Social Security account set up page, select Sign in with ID.me and follow the link to create an ID.me account.

We recommend that people living outside the U.S. contact the nearest Federal Benefits Unit or U.S. embassy for any assistance related to our programs and benefits. Our Office of Earnings and International Operations page also has more information.

What if I need additional help?

We’re happy to help with any difficulties you’re having with your personal my Social Security account. For assistance, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Lines are open from Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET. Please say “Help Desk” at the voice prompt. You can also contact your local Social Security office.

We encourage you to sign up for your personal my Social Security account if you haven’t done so. Please share this information with your family and friends—and help us spread the word on social media.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

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  1. Mary E.

    How do I apply for spousal benefits?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Mary. Thank you for your question.  To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits.  Also, if you qualify for Social Security benefits on your own record we pay that amount first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouses benefit.  However, keep in mind that a spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of the worker’s full retirement amount (not their reduced benefit amount). For more information go to our Benefits for Your Spouse web page.

      Check out our Apply for Social Security Benefits web page which provides the details on applying for Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  2. Susan B.

    Is is possible to change the username associated with my “my Social Security” account?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Susan.  Thank you for the question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to retrieve or change your username and password. If you still encounter difficulties, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or contact your local Social Security office for assistance.  We hope this helps.

      Reply

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