Protecting Your identity is Important to Us


Social Security is committed to protecting your identity and information. We often say that our online services are convenient, cost-effective, and secure to use.

We know that in certain instances, like for victims of domestic violence, completely blocking access to your information may be necessary. If you are a victim of domestic violence, Social Security may be able to block access to the electronic record we keep on you. Our online Block Electronic Access service is a resource for those who need extra security. It’s also available to certain victims of identity theft.

Through our online Block Electronic Access service, you can block any automated telephone and electronic access to your Social Security record. No one, including you, will be able to see or change your personal information on the internet or through our automated telephone service. If you block access to your record and then change your mind in the future, you can contact Social Security and ask us to unblock it.

It is an unfortunate reality for many Americans that guarding against the release of your personal information sometimes becomes a necessity. If this is the case for you, or someone you know, Social Security can help.

In most cases your Social Security number is with you for your lifetime, but when evidence shows you are being harassed, abused, or your life is endangered, we can assign you a new one.

For more information please read our publication, New Numbers for Domestic Violence Victims. You can also visit Protecting Your Social Security Number from Identity Theft for ways to help us safeguard your information.



63 thoughts on “Protecting Your identity is Important to Us

  1. Can someone tell me when Medicare will stop using Social Security numbers on the card? We are told to not carry our Social Security cards with us, but the Medicare cards use the very same numbers.

  2. hi , i like the idea to be protected i created an account and forgot my password , and i have not be able to log back unto my account

    • Hi Fermina, if you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Thanks.

  3. Is this article supposed to make me feel safe? You say you are committed to keeping our information safe, but then say the only way to do it is to block access, so that I don’t even have access to it? Don’t you do anything to protect our information? Only if I am a victim of domestic violence or identity theft, then the SSA “may be able to block access to the electronic record we keep on you.”?? I don’t understand your statement that “It is an unfortunate reality for many Americans that guarding against the release of your personal information sometimes becomes a necessity.” Isn’t guarding my personal information ALWAYS a necessity to the SSA? This article needs some serious further explanation.

    • Hi Susan, we take protecting the public’s personal information very seriously. You can rest assured that your Social Security records are confidential and that we do not disclose information about any individual to other agencies or private companies, unless we have proper authorization or consent. The article makes reference to our online Block Electronic Access service as a resource for those who need extra security. Thanks!

    • I hear ya Susan,
      As I was applying for an account with the SDFCU in D.C. recently, I was told by them that I could not be electronically identified. When I called them to inquire why, I was told that I was not the only one using that number!! So, if I have to have my information ‘blocked’, how can I manage to find another institution to pick me up as a client since Merrill Lynch is dropping me due to FATCA??? Sometimes I really have to wonder about all this stuff. Now, as busy as I am trying to find a new home for my money, I am having to deal with filing all sorts of forms to various government institutions to prove my identity is being stolen.

  4. They have 4 years to change over to medicare cards without our social security number. According to link above that applies to new cards being issued, for the rest of us they have another 4 years to provide us with new cards, so it could take 8 years – not acceptable.

    • Thanks for your question Joanne! There is no legal requirement to change your name when you get married. You can show whichever name you would like on your social security card. However, if you decide to change your name, you need to tell Social Security so that you can get a corrected card. If you are working, also tell your employer. If you do not tell us when your name changes, it may delay your tax refund and prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security record. To see what documents you will need to change your name on your Social Security card, go to Social Security Number and Card.

  5. I had to change banks for my direct deposit. received an email fro SSA that the change was successful. then, I got a letter from them asking me to supply my address as they couldn’t find me?! How did the letter reach me? Then they wrote again and said they couldn’t find my new account but they put $123.90 of my SSA payment in my new account. And the rest is out there in cyberspace somewhere,. I tried to get on line but they would not accept my password. I called, but the wait was 45 minutes. What a racket!

    • We apologize for the inconveniences. Beneficiaries receiving their payments via direct deposit, must also make sure that we have their correct mailing address on our records, to prevent delays or disruption of their benefits. If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes we experience higher than normal call volume. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later during the week. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. We thank you for your understanding and for bringing this matter to our attention. Please try again.

  6. I have been a victim of being joblessness and no water for irrigation”inspite of having good leaders of our country the difficulty for income also does exists.

  7. This is a very good site.I believe this effort by govt should continue with coordination with all like minded good goverenments of the world as it would help protect and understand various cultures and people who obey different country’s law .Thanks

  8. Talking about protecting your Social Security number is like letting the chickens out after the fox got in! The number one problem is every business, bank, doctor and anyone else that you have bought somethingfrom has your SS#. When SS was brought into law, it stated the SS# was not to be used for identification, I guess somewhere the line our all knowing congress or potus changed the rule! Now everyone has access to our SS#!

  9. My husban has been getting a lot of threatening calls about that he owes money and if he doesn’t pay there gonna go after he’s taxes… I looked up this number and comes up as fraudulent number… He’s concerned because they have his social # if he puts a blockage on his ssn will these help or not??

    • Hi Angie. It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your bank or credit information. If someone misused your Social Security number to create credit or other problems for you, immediately go to and report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. You may also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

      • you did not realy answer her question, she asked if blocking his social security number would be usefull, i would say yes in his case, it will prevent samers to get a hold of his number from opening accounts etc..

  10. We are receiving voice mails from this number, 805-628-2725 stating that my social security case is being closed. When I called back it seemed like a scam because they only could identify my name thru my home number. Also connection was bad and person had a foreign accent. The phone number was 805-628-2725.

  11. Moderation? SS matters is pretending to be seized by the press but it is probably the illiterate lawyers from the disability blog posting. I suppose the topic of identity theft can’t be processed without recusing illiterate SSA lawyers for a criminal conflict of interest with the author. For instance when I was nearly dead from the ALJs heart attack and psychiatric kidnapping in 2008 three Ohio ALJs were appointed with my written petition. A more equal example of their crime of this day would be to describe how after talking to an SSA lawyer they removed the go to college sign form the local office.

    The legal solution that has perhaps erroneously been left out of the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 is: To replace welfare Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) with licensed social workers and non-social worker representatives under Sec. 206 of the Social Security Act 42USC§406.

    The naked aggression of SSA lawyers is evident. I however want to be a good boss. So as not to anger the lawyers by depriving them of their employed as defined as relief benefits under the current age and disability discriminating hacking of 18USC246 and give the legal profession a fair trial I have been contemplating how to deal with the lawyer ALJs without unfairly laying them off.

    SSA ALJs would be literate licensed social workers. SSA lawyers would be available to represent SSA and the poor in state and federal courts, provided that they can write a Bachelor degree calibre brief for every confidential case and are able to sometimes write publishable statements to describe statistical or anonymous legal process. I believe these two articles should suffice for the President and/or Attorney General to overrule the injunction of an SSA lawyer hacking Social Security matters ad the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 in violation Unauthorized Access to Stored Information (hacking) under 18USC§2701.

  12. We are often asked for our SSN by companies that don’t need it for financial purposes. They are just using it almost like an account number. I thought this was outlawed, but perhaps not?

    • Anyone can refuse to disclose his or her Social Security number, but the requester can refuse its services if you do not give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone’s number and use it for any purpose that does not violate a federal or state law. Sometimes they will issue a different number if you ask.

  13. I am going through a divorce, and my husband wants my disability records to find out why I was put on disability. Is that legal? Can I refuse to give the records? He would like me to go to another doctor to see if I’m really disabled! Do I have the right to say no? He is just trying to be hard to get along with, hence the divorce

    • Hi, Jami. Members of the public, as well as employees are protected by privacy laws. The Privacy Act prohibits Federal agencies from disclosing personal information without the person’s consent, except under certain conditions. For more information, please visit: We hope this information is helpful.

  14. 1. To Diana on October 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm said:
    Can someone tell me when Medicare will stop using Social Security numbers on the card? We are told to not carry our Social Security cards with us, but the Medicare cards use the very same numbers
    You got it right on Diana
    And just a small point with this when to ride a city bus in Minneapolis /St. Paul + to get one of the reduced fare payments you must show your Medicare card and another type Of MN ID to get it.
    So and if you lose your wallet or purse with all of numbers on them and the wrong person gets it you are in big trouble
    Medicare cards use the very some numbers and this put us at risk.
    And this is just a small part of it.
    Am I wrong?

    Glen James Hausfeld
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

  15. When providing a temporary password for someone trying to access their SSA account, you should eliminate zeros and the letter o as they look too much alike. The recipient of that password has to make numerous attempts to get the password right. Also, the number one and the letters l and i also look similar.

  16. My online account tells me they have locked me out of my account. How do I know when the 24 hours is up? As I was not aware that I had tried and failed 3 times to get into my account.

  17. I’ve been receiving security codes which leads me to believe that someone has been trying to access my online account. I changed my password and security questions today. I don’t have a credit card so I can’t use the other security feature. The only computer I use to access the internet is a MAC. I don’t use my phone or any other type of device. Is there anything else I can do to protect my online account?

    • Hello Janet. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you properly. One of our representatives should be able to help you. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      Also, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page in relation to “my Social Security account/Enhanced Security”.

  18. There is a number from Gratton ND 7019222423 calling saying they are an investigator from the social security administration. He gives his name as Mr Green and gives a badge number. The say my number has been compromised and that they will fix this problem. He is pretty good as a scammer. He hung up when I refused to give any private information. I’m hoping it is illegal to pretend to be from the social security administration. How do I report him.

    • Hello Dorothy. Social Security Administration (SSA) employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employee may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone.
      You may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via Thanks!

  19. Trying to get online refused by SSA with no way to access because of refusal. My password and user ID have been used in the past.

    • Hello Stephen. We’re sorry that you had difficulty accessing your my Social Security account. If you encounter a problem with your, please call our dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk” or
      contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  20. What do I do? My sister, Annette Michelle Heath, who lives in Kentucky, Louisville came for a visit and stole my social security card. She has stole my identity in the past when she was 14 years old. What do I do? Can I request a new number on a new card?
    I contacted the 3 credit reporting agencies and placed a fraud alert on my social security number.They will require additional information to verify my identity….my social security card would probably do the trick. Please help me to know how to handle this situation. The last time she stole my identity I was arrested for something I didn’t do.

  21. I have been trying to get access to my online information for years and given the runaround by local agents, there needs to be a way to reverse block online and telephone access (online)

  22. I had created an account years ago Now that Im 61 I want to apply for SS but when I try to create a new account or log into the original one it wont let me Who can I talk to about fixing this problem

  23. My SS # was compromised. I received 3 letters from retail companies stating someone had applied for credit under my #. My name and address was also known. I’ve frozen my credit bureaus, and notified companies that sent me letters I did not apply for credit. What do I need to do to guarantee my SS will not be compromised ?


  24. How is the use of the social security number protected? I have spent almost an hour searching and found so many needless”pages” of info that I am giving up. A long time ago, I was told that my son could not be used for ID for anything but social security. Now it seems that banks, credit companies, and a host of others, are using it for identification. If you are going by what you first learned, you are denied.

  25. I’m unable to log into my social security online account as I forgot either my username or password–and there seems to be no method of resetting either parameter.

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