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

Comments

  1. Fergal O.

    My daughter was born in America while we were living there, and did get a social security number and a US passport. However, we moved back to Ireland many years ago and she never renewed her passport. She now wants to do so, but cannot remember her social security number and we have no record of it. How can we get her number?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Fergal. Thanks for your question. Since you are living outside of the U.S., you can contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  2. Karyn

    Q: can i totally close an existing account i have been locked out of in order to start all over again with a new account? Would that be easier than trying over and over again to wait for codes to be sent in the mail (i’m on my second attempt with that method now) to try and recover my access?

    When i try to log in, i am told i will be sent an access code to my phone…only problem, it is sending code to my OLD phone number…I have already changed my phone number with social security…soooo confused.

    I know, i should call in; I will…again

    I really feel for people, especially the elderly i care for who have even harder times remembering all their passwords and codes, and usernames. Not to mention the lower functioning mentally disabled! I have an MA and this stuff is nearly impossible for ME. sigh, needed to vent, thanks

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Karyn. We are sorry to hear about your experience. We are sorry to hear you have had difficulty accessing your personal my Social Security account. If you are still unable to access an account or encounter a problem with your personal my Social Security account, you may:
      •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. We hope this helps.

  3. Robert T.

    Easy extra income for all. No investment.

    https://www.ysense.com/?rb=59429643

  4. Catherine M.

    I’ve just become a US Citizen. How do I let the SS office know of this change in status. I have my Citizenship Certificate, but don’t know where to go to show it. It is a large document, and i don’t want to fold it and send it through the mail. It is the only document I have as proof of Citizenship, and I don’t want to risk not getting it back. Should I just wait until the offices return to normal, and take it to them, or can I send a photocopy, thank you.

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Catherine, and for reading our blog. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your Social Security record by showing us your Certificate of Naturalization and completing an application for a corrected Social Security card. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page. If you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator.

  5. Ronald S.

    Can you collect Social Security retirement benefits while you are incarcerated

    • Vonda

      Hi Ronald, thanks for using our blog. Generally, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are not payable for months that a beneficiary is incarcerated or confined to a jail, prison, or certain other public institutions due to a criminal conviction. However, we may be able to continue paying benefits to the dependent spouse or children as long as they remain eligible. Check out our publication “Entering the Community After Incarceration — How We Can Help” for details om what you can do after being released.

  6. Amir E.

    To whom it may concern,i do have a social security account on line,i do live overseas because i can not work any more and live on my social security benefit in USA,however i have tried to change my phone number to international number but i could not because your system saying i do have to call social security toll free number,but it is very hard to go through because it is international call,please help me to update my information,thank you for your cooperation.

    • Vonda

      Thanks for the question, Amir. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  7. Renee

    I’m out of the usa and got locked out of my online account. I can’t thru to you with the out of country phone number toll free call. Do you except Skype to call you.?

    • Vonda

      Thanks for the question, Renee. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  8. Donnie W.

    I have tried to set up my account to report a lost card but it will not be activated until I receive a letter from you. I really need a replacement card

    • Donnie W.

      Do I have to go to the ss office which is 13 miles away because the office in Lake Mary is closed! To report the lost card? If so how do I make an appointment.

      • Vonda

        Hi Donnie, thank you for using our blog. We are temporarily allowing people to mail in an original or certified secondary identity document with their paper Social Security Number application (SS-5) if they cannot request a replacement SSN card online, or if they are unwilling or unable to mail the primary identity document. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under the Social Security Numbers and Cards heading, for a listing of secondary documentation that you can provide to get a replacement card. We hope this helps!

  9. CHRISTINE C.

    I am receiving benefits from my ex husbands ss account. He was still living at the time that I applied. He has subsequently passed away. Do my benefits go up now? And if so what do I have to do to receive it?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Christine. Thank you for your question. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  10. Deb

    Hello, after being unable to access account contacted by phone and received letter with temporary password. Letter didn’t have any notation of temp password expiration. It was addressed all capitol letters and complete name even though online account we are locked out of had only middle initial. It was dated 5/6/2021 but only tried to access today 5/26/2021. Is it expired? Should we use the all caps full name instead of the way it was originally set up? Please help…..

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Deb. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or contact your local Social Security office. Your local office can also assist. We hope this helps.

Comments are closed.