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Three Online Social Security Musts

August 4, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Profile of elderly man sitting at table typing on laptopIt’s never been easier to do business with us online. Often there is no need to call or visit an office. Here are three webpages that can make your life easier:

  • Create Your Personal my Social Security Account. Did you know you already have access to much of your Social Security information? All you need to do is create or sign in to your personal my Social Security account. You can verify your earnings, get future benefit estimates, instantly get a benefit verification letter, and more, with your own personal my Social Security account.
  • File for Your Retirement Online. Planning for retirement? Or looking to retire now? You can complete and submit your online application for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes on our Retirement Benefits page.
  • Stay Informed! Need more information about our programs? There’s a publication for that. Visit our publication library online (including audio versions) to learn more about our programs.

Our online resources don’t end there. If you didn’t see what you need in the list above, visit our Online Services page. Please share these pages with your friends and family.

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About the Author

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

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Anita L.

    I have the same problem, living in Germany with no access to s social security office and yet unable to access online services. Seems that Americans like me, living outside the USA, need online services even more than those citizens who have a SSA office around the corner. Please elevate this issue to someone who can make online services available to US citizens who fo not have a US address.

    • Ozcan A.

      İ totally agree !!!

    • Alex W.

      İ totally agree !!!

      • Sonya L.

        Thanks for your resources and online library! They are very useful for people who want to find information to understand their opportunities in the field of education and work. When I read various materials of the community cards on the topics
        source I first saw links to your resources and could find a lot of useful information. It is also very convenient that you have online versions of your services, they are very helpful.

  2. Christina C.

    re Broadcast email received Aug 6:
    “We have exciting news to share! Our latest redesign of your personal my Social Security account now makes it easier to conduct business with us and find the information you need with us online.”

    Easier for whom?

    Why was updating direct deposit removed? I was able to do this last November and when I tried to take advantage of an online bank’s offer I noted I could not do this on August 5 and spent an hour to learn an agent was unware of the “contact us” link to national SSA number that is in this area now.

    There is a FAQ that states updating direct deposit can be done. It’s in the hold music too. I’d like to see updating direct deposit return.



    • Deborah A.

      Im applying for benefits and my email is my address is: 940 Gates AVE BROOKLYN NEW YORK 11221APT3E MY NAME IS: DEBORAH FINCH.

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Deborah. 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 officeJust a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media. We hope this helps.

      • Luana

        Please don’t put any private information on any online site. Perhaps you chose to put your address, and email because it’s a SS website. But, If it were secure, I wouldn’t be able to plead with you to not continue this practice.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Christina. We are sorry to hear about your experience. 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.

  3. Gary M.

    Why can’t I fill out the form SSA-7162-OCR-SM online? It would be much easier for me. My postage is very high and the letter may even get lost.


    Gary M

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Gary. Thanks for visiting our blog. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local  Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

      • maxx

        The “contact FBU” is a nice answer IF your FBU office is responsive. E.g. the FBU in Frankfurt, Germany does NOT take phone calls and all emails receive a standard response that it is received. However, for two years now and counting they have answered none of my emails.

      • Anita P.

        I have the same problem, living in Germany and thereby not having access to the online services. I don’t understand why anyone who has a social security number is excluded from online services, regardless of address. People living outside the US, with no access to a local social security office are the ones who would really benefit from online services . Please consider eliminating the requirement for a US address.

        • Ozcan A.

          Would someone pay attention to these words? İ hope so….!

    • Chuck D.

      You are correct Gary. Being in the Philippines I have the same problem, the postal service here is poor and takes forever to get if you get it at all. And when returning the form, it usually gets lost in the mail. A complete yet the SSA refuses to address the problem. This problem could be cured just by incorporating the form into the MY Social Security Website!

  4. Kay S.

    I live overseas. I just received and completed the annual form to verify my address is still the same, my marital status is still the same, etc. . . . IMO, basically a form to prove I’m still among the living.

    The form always carries the threat of cutting off my SS benefits . . . money that has never been the Federal Government’s money; money that I and previous employer’s paid into. I digress . . .

    Anyway! the threat of cutting off my money prompts me to complete and mail the form immediately only to be told by my local postal service that the document will arrive Stateside in approximately one month.

    Another expat has experienced the same postal service announcement . . . after he’s sent his form registered, insured, and every other possible way he could to be certain his reply would fall within the 10 days the form gives us to respond.

    The SS office assigned to us is totally inept. Their first language is not English. It’s interesting that living where I can afford to live, my greatest difficulties are still with my own highly stressful inducing government.

  5. Marion K.

    I’ve been told about overpayment i need to pay back….its been a nightmare….i went to office and worker put info in and said i would probably not have to pay any of it….the i finally get a letter amount was cut in half after i made payment arrangement for larger amt….so i go back up to office where that person gives me another letter saying the larger amount….at this point i have no idea what i owe and no one can or will….and to top it off they are rude……who am i supposed to call cause no one knows what they are doing……

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Marion. We are sorry to hear about your experience. We encourage you to continue to work with your local office. You can ask to speak to a manager on your next call or visit. You can also 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 is resolved soon. 

    • Patricia M.

      File for BK chapter 7

  6. Jeffrey J.

    Recieved Social Security benefits just found out have Lupus in my DNA.
    And had a Open Medical before .
    My question is how to include Disablelty on to my current benefits

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jeffrey. Thanks for visiting our blog. We pay disability benefits to people under their full retirement age who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or end in death. Once people reach full retirement age, we pay them their retirement benefits.  If you are under your full retirement age, you can file for disability benefits. For more information and to learn how to apply, please visit our Disability Planner page. We hope this helps. 

  7. Ed G.

    Like everything else in our bureaucratic structure, just getting to the “Three Online Social Security Musts” involves a minefield on subheadings with arrows to continuations. If it’s a “must” why not just post it so that it can the first thing read when the reader opens the message?

    • amby B.

      Good Question

    • Barb F.

      I totally agree!!! Why do w.e have go through so many pages of rigamarole to get to what we need to know!!!

      • BF

        I tried several times to get my personal SS account online and it failed every time. I had all my correct information but it was never accepted. I gave up.

  8. Ozcan A.

    İf İ lived on mainland USA,İ would probably visit SS Office in my neighborhood to solve my issues . Who really needs an online SS account the most??Ofcourse retired US citizens living in a foreign country like me !But No…we are prohibited to open a “My Social Security”account because we dont reside in US.İts simply…discrimination !!

    • Kay S.

      I don’t know if it’s discrimination but I do know it certainly doesn’t make one bit of sense. I’m in the same situation. This is the first time I’ve been able to read a “blog”!

  9. Cosette B.

    I need a proof of income statement.

    • Sara H.

      If you are looking for the SS benefits you have/are receiving; it is all available on the

      You have to set up a our account& be living in the United States and NOT using a public computer, such as library, community computer, etc.

      • Ozcan A.

        You have to set up a our account& be living in the United States.,.u said. Somebody..please explain to me why do İ have to be living in US to have access to My Social Security. ??

        • Ozcan A.

          431,883 U.S. workers
          A 2018 study by the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement shows that at least 12 percent of Americans have considered living abroad in older age and retirement. In fact, there were approximately 431,883 U.S. workers living overseas who received Social Security benefits in 2019.

          • Ozcan A.

            432 thousand retired Americans are not allowed to set up “My Social Security” account just because they dont reside in US.What a shame on SS Administration.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cosette. Thanks for visiting our blog. If you need a benefit verification letter, you can view, print, and save your benefit verification letter by creating a personal my Social Security account online.   For questions regarding your benefit verification letter, we ask that members in our Blog community contact our offices. You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We hope this helps.

  10. Margaret m.

    I need to make an in person visit how do I make appointment?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Margaret. Thanks for visiting our blog. 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.

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