General, Online Services

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

May 20, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

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

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Lynn P.

    1. I am not receiving SSA benefits at this time.
    2. I would like to opt for “paper copy” communications
    3. I have recently moved.
    With the above facts in mind, it would seem necessary for me to notify SSA of my recent change of address. However, your automated response mechanism informs me that if I am not receiving SSA benefits, “I don’t need to notify SSA of my address change”. I beg to differ…..I have need to request paper copy communications, and I don’t want such paper copy communications to go to an address that is no longer valid, and may result in sensitive information falling into unscrupulous hands. I want to be able to receive paper copies, but I want such communication to come to my CURRENT address….yet, because I do not yet receive benefits, I do not seem have the ability to advise SSA of my current address via MySSA.
    Catch 22? Please advise how I can execute change of address notification to SSA.

  2. Daftar T.

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  3. Daniel A.

    Am I getting a check deposit

  4. Eric R.

    I need a copy of my SSI funds award letter for this year.
    How can I obtain a copy of it? I have searched everywhere in my house for it, and cannot find it, and need it to send to the Dept of taxation and assessments, or the department that handles my Homeowner’s tax exemption application.
    Thank you

    • Patty

      Hi Eric. Thanks for using our blog. To obtain proof of your Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security (SSI) Income or Medicare, you can request a benefit verification letter online by using your personal my Social Security account. It is so easy! You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

  5. chase

    there are several important questions above, but only the first question was answered. The first question is the only comment relative to the subject matter; is that why it was the only question answered? Is there somewhere more appropriate that these individuals can have their questions answered? In my profession I am overwhelmed with these exact question’s day after day. It is no secret that the SSA is known for its ridiculous complexity. With all the changes due to the pandemic, such as employee shortages; everyone is being encouraged to self-assist. I think we can all agree that if the SSA insists on referring everyone with any problem to go to than it will need to be more accessible. The identification processes do not stop identity thieves or data breaches, as these types of intrusions/thieves just give the computer what it wants to steal what they need. Meanwhile victims, the elderly, the misinformed, the uninformed become increasingly exploited while they fight for a passcode to come in the mail. The USPS is also understaffed and absolutely cannot be expected to deliver a passcode in the mail within 10 days. Mail should not even be an option, what if one needs to change their address, tries to login and the code is sent to an old address; their mail could be accessed and out of their control now giving someone else the special access code and furthermore blocking someone from their account. Also, the SSA relies on credit bureaus and DMV to verify data?? That is absurd, Identity thieves have a hay day with this simple fact as it makes it possible for them to control everything. That being said, it shouldn’t be difficult for anyone to access their SSA account, if a theft gets in, the SSA will have records of the IP address and the matter can be delt with but if a legitimate person can’t access their records due to some incorrect or outdated information the SSA wants them to verify they could miss their enrolment date, not get their benefits, give up out of frustration and limited resources and suffer endlessly. Unless the SSA is trying to make access a deliberate challenge to slow down the population at large to having access to benefits because the government is avoiding payment of benefits either to protect cash reserves or due to internal fraud or other issues that have been created from an employee internally. how many individual employees at SSA are responsible for the online services functionality? Whom supervise/audits/governs them? are the policy and administrative regulations within the SSA established by the people for the people? Or otherwise? These are the obvious yet disregarded concerns of the people. SSA employees are people too. It is the people vs the people with a clue.

  6. Anna S.

    I cannot find how to change my e-mail address. Thus, I can’t switch to auto-pay from my bank.

    • Vonda

      Hi Anna, thank you for your question. After you sign in to your my Social Security account, you can update your email address. After inputting your username and password, you will be at the security code screen. If you receive your security code via email only, then indicate that you cannot access the options listed above and need to reset where you receive security codes. We will then send you a letter with a reset code and instructions.

  7. Cynthia M.

    I’ve requested a password reset code several times. When I try to reset my password, all I ever get is that the code is expired. Then it takes me back to the form to request a new code. Then I have to wait another 10 or 15 days for a new code. Thelast time I requested a code on 6/19 I never got the code until 7/3. Is there a work around for this?

  8. William S.

    My name on my Social Security ID card has my first name, middle initial and last name. My name on my Texas Drivers license has the initial of my first name then my middle name and last name. I can’t get a SS replacement card because the names don’t agree. Is there anyway you can bypass checking my name with the Texas Drivers License Administration, and go ahead and issue the replacement card exactly as it has on record with you today?

  9. Laura R.

    My cousin has lost all of his identification and his ID was out of date. How can he get his SS card when you have to have it to get an ID again? He has his birth certificate. Now what can he do?

  10. Charles W.

    I would like to stop working at 62 however I do not want to draw my ss benefit until 67. Does it affect my projected full benefit $1841 due to early retirement since I will no longer contribute to SS?

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