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Social Security’s Plan to Better Serve You

July 16, 2020 • By

We are committed to improving service to the millions of Americans who expect and deserve timely and accurate help from us.  This effort requires that we modernize our technology so we can provide our employees with effective, easy-to-use tools that help them do their job well.  As the COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored, we must offer additional online, remote service, and self-service options that you expect from organizations today.

While such service options depend on modern technology, many of our systems are more than 30 years old.  Thus, nearly two years ago, we initiated a multi-year Information Technology (IT) Modernization Plan to replace our outdated systems with updated technology that enhances our service capabilities.  We have updated this plan to build on the tremendous progress we have made over the past two years and to reflect input from public and private technology experts, our frontline employees, and most importantly, from our interactions with you.

This update enhances our focus on improving our services online, over the telephone, and in our local offices.  We are also committed to ensuring that the service options we offer are both secure and easily accessible.  Currently, it is too hard for many people to prove who they are to access our online services, which is why we have made improving our my Social Security account registration process a foundation of our modernization efforts.

We will continue to review our IT Modernization plans to make sure that they are flexible enough to keep up with rapid technology change and future customer needs so that we deliver on your expectations. I invite you to read our IT Modernization plan and the 2020 Update.


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About the Author

Andrew Saul, Commissioner, Social Security Administration

Andrew Saul, Commissioner, Social Security Administration

Commissioner of Social Security Administration

Comments

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  1. Barbara Campbell

    I am currently drawing social security. I am not sure if it has been calculated correctly. I was married for 25 years and divorced. I remarried. I have the lowest wages out of the three. The first husband has the highest wages. I started social security when I was 62. Who should I be drawing from?

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Barbara, thanks for using our blog. To file on your ex-spouse’s record, you must be unmarried. We will always pay your own retirement benefit first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, your spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount (not his reduced benefit amount). So, you can only receive additional spouse’s benefits if your own full retirement benefit (not your reduced benefit) is less than half of your husband’s full retirement benefit.

      Generally, during the initial interview when applying for Social Security benefits, we typically explore all other benefits that could yield you a higher benefit amount. To find out if you are eligible for a higher benefit amount, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  2. vickierrivera

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    Reply
  3. Alex

    I am close to 65 and I tried to apply for Medicare. The SSA informed me that I have to provide the “Proof of United States Citizenship”. Instead using the “modern technology” (few mouse clicks), they wanted the original docs. I sent them my passport and they lost it. Now they are going to deny my application. The “improving service to the millions of Americans“ actually looks as the trivial conservative bureaucracy.

    Reply
  4. Alex

    The “modern technology” in action: the magic number 1-800-772-1213 connects to a village in India and people there are unable to do anything…
    If you are so concerned about security, why do you distribute our data outside the US?

    Reply
  5. Jeffrey Sabia

    I applied for my social security disability insurance in April 2015 and had been denied
    I appealed in January 2016 and my appeal was LOST in Newport News, Virginia.
    In February 2018 I was contacted by Newport News SSA office and told that my claim had been located/found in the back of a file cabnit!
    It took until March 12th 2020 to have my hearing.
    Now October 16th 2020 and I still do not have my benifits or the large sum of back pay I am owed.
    Why?
    I am in a Extream Financial Hardship situation and can not get a answer as to when I will be receiving my benifits.
    I need help Now.
    I can wait no longer, its been over 5.5 Years and I desperately need the financial assistance.
    Please contact me with answers as to when my claim will be completed.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      For your security, Jeffrey, 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 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
      • Alex

        Jeffrey,
        Probably they want you hire an agent. I suppose they limited free contacts to stimulate us to do that.

        Reply
  6. Salena

    Salena on October 16, 2020 at 6:03 am said:
    Social Security has Deducted Medicare from my monthly payments . Then kept the money and cancelled my Medicare. Proof is in my payment history. Now during this Pandemic I have no insurance. Local office has refused to fix it after saying they will during every phone call.
    After many complaints I I mysteriously receive a refund check for one month. When Medicare was deducted every month.

    Please assist ASAP

    Reply
  7. Chris

    I need to get a replacement card and have registered an account online. I meet all of the listed requirements (and the option is available in my state) but it said I couldn’t get a replacement online. I called the 800# to inquire why and was told that I need to contact the local office as a requirement NOT listed was still needed. The local office said I need to verify citizenship but because of COVID-19 they aren’t allowing face to face meetings. I have nothing but my driver’s license and can’t mail it in as I need it to get around. I’m glad to show my license but you won’t take copies and I don’t have an active passport (only expired) or have any medical records and wasn’t in the military so no ID there. What can I do? HELP!!!!

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Chris, thanks for using our blog. Check out our web page “Learn What Documents You Will Need to Get A Social Security Card” for details on required documentation for a new, replacement or corrected Social Security card. If you still have questions, please 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  8. Theresa S STEVENSON

    Why are there no phone numbers for Administrators? Your staff is lazy and incompetent and they get away with it because there is no accountability. I have been trying to get a simple screw up on their part fixed for three months. I get the same singsong every time I speak to them and no action!!! You are not living up to the Open Government or Accountability initiative or the No Fear or even FOIA. You use employment as a welfare program and hence have no one competent to do ANYTHING. Work from home is no work at all!

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      We are sorry to hear about your experience, Theresa. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  9. J. Hoyt

    Are your offices open yet? You are one of the only governmental agencies that had glass already in place to service people during the pandemic. Insisting that parents mail an identity theft starter kit for both parent and child for replacement means that a free card costs at least 2 dollars for mailing and you require original documents which strangely enough my state does not permit me to have two licenses or drive without a license because the social security office has decided they never have to interact with the lowly American public again. Your funding should be withdrawn until you return to inperson service after all its safe to send our kids to inperson education, high risk employees must return to high risk jobs and the rest of the world is doing their jobs. You should be ashamed of yourself and the political appointee who leads you who is profiting from cloud technology which allows SSA employees to continue the dereliction of their duties while fully paid in their own homes.

    Reply
  10. Laura William

    Your funding ought to be withdrawn until you return to inperson service in any case its safe to send our kids to inperson education, high chance employees ought to return to high danger jobs and the relaxation of the sector is doing their jobs. You need to be embarrassed about your self and the political appointee who leads you who’s cashing in on cloud technology

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    Reply

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