General, Online Services

This New Year, Learn About Social Security Online

January 12, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: January 12, 2023

woman reviewing items on a laptopSocial Security programs touch the lives of more than 70 million people. We work hard to ensure critical benefits and other services are accessible to you. Consider the start of the new year as an opportunity for you to engage with Social Security online. This begins with creating your free and secure personal my Social Security account.

Once you create an account, you can:

  • Apply for retirement, spouses, or disability benefits.
  • Apply for Medicare.
  • Check your application status.
  • Request a replacement Social Security number card.

If you do not receive Social Security benefits, you can use your personal my Social Security account to:

  • Get personalized retirement benefit estimates.
  • Get your Social Security Statement.
  • Get estimates for spouse’s benefits.
  • Get instant proof that you do not receive benefits.

If you receive benefits, you can use your personal my Social Security account to:

  • Change your address (Social Security benefits only).
  • Set up or change your direct deposit information (Social Security benefits only).
  • Instantly get proof of benefits.
  • Print your SSA-1099.

Your personal my Social Security account has a secure Message Center. You can choose to receive the annual cost-of-living adjustments and the income-related monthly adjustment amount online. Unless you opt-out of receiving notices by mail that are available online, you will receive both mailed and online notices.

Your personal my Social Security account offers easy access to features that save you time when you do business with us online. Check out our other resources available on our Online Services page.

Please share this information with your friends and loved ones who may need it.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Acting Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


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  2. Sean

    Help. I am trying to create an account, and have done the basic set-up through (with email, phone#, verification codes, setting password, etc… but not yet doing a username or putting in my SS#), and I then get to a screen asking “Did you receive an activation code” (apparently this is different than the verification code sent via text message?), so I clicked “no”. Next I am given a page to asking to Agree to Terms of Service. Upon clicking the Agree button and Next, I get an almost empty page saying “Service Error” with the date/time along with it saying “Error details: Cannot get a good connection from the database.” And thats it. There isn’t a re-submit button or a way to log out or even a button for the SSA Home page. There is just the company logo for IBM at the top. So to log out I then need close this page and re-open the main log-in page where I need to go through the process again so that I can again reach the Agree to Terms of Service page in order to finally reach an “Exit” button so that I am properly logged out.
    I have done this process multiple times, and always get the same Error and cannot proceed further. So now what? (and please do not tell me to call. I am a US citizen living abroad. Please give an online method to get beyond the Error.)

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sean. We are sorry to hear you have had difficulty creating your account. The contact center will assist you through the proofing flow only i.e. to help create, sign in and manage your account. This is done only through their online web support page ( where you can submit your questions/concerns. Though you can submit your questions at any time,’s customer support operating hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and it could take up to two business days for their customer support agents to respond to inquiries. We hope this helps. 

  3. Donald H.

    Both spouse and I are retired. Me 80 wife 72. I get $3000, wife gets $1000. I understand there has been a change and she can now get 50% of my monthly. That would change hers to $1500. Is this correct and how do we do?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Donald. Thanks for your question.  Keep in mind that if your wife qualifies for her own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay her own benefits first. If her benefits as a spouse are higher than her own benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Visit our Benefits Planner for more information. For specific questions, your wife can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. She can also contact her local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  4. Charles W.

    this is charles i have a online account but it just says that they cant help me at this time and i cant get on

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Charles. We are sorry to hear you have had difficulty accessing your account. If you are still unable to access your account or encounter a problem with your personal my Social Security account, please 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 “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  5. Mike P.

    I’m already receiving social security benefits. I want to apply for spousal benefits now. Can I do this online?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mike. Since you are currently receiving benefits, please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. Thanks! 

  6. Christopher

    I’m trying to reach a real person at Soc Sec by phone but have no luck, waiting over an hour on the phone. I need some basic questions answered to proceed with possibly applying on line. I can go physically to the office nearby downtown and may to attempt t make an appointment with a SS Rep who then can guide me correctly. Can I make an appointment physically ? On line is far too confusing and inefficient at present. Thanx …

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Christopher. We are sorry to hear about your experience. Most local offices have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. Customers who walk in without appointments may encounter delays. Visit How to Get Help from Social Security to learn more, including what to know if you need to visit an office. We hope this helps.

  7. James B.

    If I draw from my 401k does it effect my SSDI?

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  10. Barb O.

    Social Security used 2020 income tax data to determine my 2023 IRMAA. It appears that they have not yet received my 2021 tax information from the IRS. Why is this? When will the SS payment be updated using 2021 tax data? My SS benefit is larger than it should be and should be reduced.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Barb. Thanks for visiting our blog. 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. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.


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