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 account. 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 and follow the link to create an 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


  1. Kelley D.

    Your website won’t let me access my social security account outside of business hours. Is this new? Shouldn’t I be able to access my account any time I want?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Kelley. We apologize for any inconvenience and invite you to use all of our online services today. Due to scheduled systems maintenance, some of our online services are unavailable during certain times. Thanks!

  2. Precious

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  3. Laurel

    I would like my social security to begin in December 2021. When should I apply and can I specify I want it to begin in December. I would receive first payment in January. Is that correct. Thank you

    • Vonda

      Hi Laurel, thanks for your questions. Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, if you want your benefits to begin with December, you will receive your first benefit payment in January. The exact payment date is determined by your date of birth. For future pay days, you may find the Schedule of Social Security Payments calendars useful.

      Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. When you’re ready to apply, you can apply online.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance 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. We hope this information helps.

  4. Max

    It’s great that you are sharing useful information. I enjoy reading your blog.
    Max, author, and owner of the blog

  5. Darlene

    I am trying to get into my account. They never send a code. HELP

    • Vonda

      Hi Darlene, thanks for using our blog. Sorry to hear you are having difficulties accessing your my Social Security account. For assistance with your account, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) 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. We hope this information helps.

  6. Tom O.

    I added an employer (for wage reporting purposes) by phone today and do not see them listed yet. Is there a delay when adding a new employer?

    • Diana V.

      Hello Tom. Thank you for using our blog. If you do not see your employer listed in your my Social Security account after reporting it, please re-contact your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. Check out our Reporting Wages Online web page for more information.

  7. Kevin M.

    Do private disability payments from my previous employer count as earned income in determining my benefits as a surviving spouse?

    • Diana V.

      Hello Kevin. Thank you for using our blog. Private disability insurance you receive will not affect your surviving spouse benefits.

  8. Linda M.

    Hi, I lost my job in November 2019. I was given a severance pay, which was paid out monthly until May of 2020. In December 2019 I filed for unemployment, which lasted until about May or June of 2020. I began receiving Social Security benefits in July 2020 (I turned 63 in June 2020).Today I received a letter that says I owe Social Security for an overpayment because I worked in 2020. However, I didn’t work. It was just severance pay and unemployment. Does that count as work?

    • Diana V.

      Hello Linda. The payments you receive for work you did before you started getting Social Security benefits are considered Special Payments after Retirement. Those payments will not affect your Social Security benefits if they are for work done before you retired. Some special payments to employees include bonuses, accumulated vacation or sick pay, severance pay, back pay, standby pay, sales commissions, and retirement payments. To report a special payment, contact your local Social Security office to learn more about the detailed information you will need to provide. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. In addition, Unemployment insurance benefits are not counted under the Social Security annual earnings test and therefore do not affect your receipt of Social Security benefits. We hope this helps!

      • Ordia G.

        I quit trying to contact social security, IRS or anyone government associated since COVID. No answers, on hold for hours then hung up on or referenced to website and no further response mode. I have been “hung out to dry” on EIP check since May of 2020 and have no idea what I can do and can’t talk to anyone

  9. Visaghan B.

    Social security statement value and helpful!!

  10. Jenny S.

    I worked for school district two years. Not long enough for TRS retirement but you also are not listing my income for those years. How can I add income from those years to social security record?

    • Diana V.

      If your work was covered by both your state pension plan and Social Security, then you would have paid Social Security and Medicare taxes just as you would for any other Social Security covered job. You would also see those earnings on your Social Security Statement records. However, if the school district where you worked was covered only by your state pension plan and you did not pay Social Security taxes, your earnings won’t be on your Social Security record. (Your record will show Medicare wages if you paid into that program.) Check out our State and Local Government Employment web page for more details.

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