You Don’t Need A Magic 8 Ball To Find The Answers To Your Questions

February 16, 2016 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

picture of an 8 ballSometimes, finding answers to your questions on government websites can feel a lot like asking questions of a Magic 8 Ball™. That’s not the case with Social Security’s frequently asked questions.

In 2015, Social Security won the “ClearMark Award of Distinction” for best plain language websites and documents from the Center for Plain Language for our redesigned Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) website. We continue to improve our communications to provide you with clear, helpful information and easy access to our services.

We recently narrowed down our FAQs from more than 500 to less than 200. The newly revised FAQs are more clear and concise. You come to our website for immediate answers, not a long drawn out experience. We’re all busy, right?

Social Security wants our online content and our communications with you to be accurate and easily accessible. We want you to locate the information you’re looking for faster than a magician could wave his wand. We are constantly searching for ways to improve navigation throughout our online presence and use feedback from your comments and suggestions when making changes to our website.

Visit our new FAQ home page to find the answer to your question. We promise that with our award-winning site, you won’t get the result reply hazy, try again later. When it comes to getting an answer, you’ll find out that your outlook is good.

See Comments

About the Author

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Ezekiel

    Typical government response when they’re caught doing wrong. Ignore.

    • David S.

      Exactly. They remove my comment and refuse to respond to it. It obviously pierced their heart.

  2. Daniel R.

    Well we haven’t found the answer to the question contained in the following email to the IRS. Additionally, why are there so many complaints of SSA employees being rude, disrespectful, hateful, and ignorant who intentionally ignore SSA policy?

    Hello IRS Tax Help:

    It is my understanding that if one is eligible for a SSN then that individual has to obtain a SSN as a TIN and cannot obtain an ITIN. However, what does an eligible U.S. Citizen do when people with the SSA refuse to issue a SSN while also refusing to issue an official application denial?

    We have two such children that people with the SSA, after several failed communication attempts since August 2016, refuse to issue numbers or to officially deny. Yet, we also have two children with the same identifying documents as the other two aforementioned children that people with the SSA promptly issued numbers for.

    The local SSA office is in Springfield, MO, and the only clerk names we have are Darius, Stacy, and a supervisor named Sandy. Apparently none of them know what they are doing, and based on numerous complaints from others we are not the only ones who are being harassed by these people. My wife Emanuela has been there three times causing our family great distress. I called the 1-800# and waited an hour only for Ms. Diaz to tell me she could not help and to go back to the local office.

    I’m afraid if we apply for an ITIN for our children, then the IRS will say they are eligible for a SSN, while Stacy with the SSA says they are not eligible. So, if the IRS declares they are eligible, and Stacy declares they are not, Stacy with the SSA would essentially be stating that the IRS is wrong.

    Please advise on how to proceed.

    Thank you,

    Daniel R.

    cc: SSA

    • David S.

      The SSA sect is inherently evil. Actually, the SSA doesn’t exist, being it is a fiction. What exists are the people who operate the SSA sect. Therefore, real people, in the form of living souls, both men and women, are the ones who are doing evil and violence to others and do not want to be responsible for their deeds. Amazing, to me at least, that people have a desire to participate in the sect at all. The love of money I suppose, and power over others. Those real people who comprise the entire State, which is religious (impossible to not be religious), and hide behind their fictional titles, departments etc. will eventually be judged by the one and only righteous Judge, Jesus the Christ. One of the more popular write-ups on social security:

  3. Joey

    What is the process if your SSD payment has been rejected and returned to SS from a financial institution? How long is the turn around process? Will a paper check be sent to the recipient or if the SS office has updated bank account information will the Dept of Treasury send it via direct deposit?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Joey. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. We do ask that members in our Blog community contact their local offices and their financial institutions with questions about their specific case. Generally, a returned electronic payment is replaced with another electronic payment via direct deposit. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

      • Joey

        Thank you for your assistance, Joey

  4. M. N.

    To what address I should send the Payee form?

    • Ray F.

      To ensure proper processing of the completed report, we generally ask that you return the completed form in the (pre-addressed) envelope provided. You can also mail or take the form to your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  5. Shirley P.

    My son is mentally disabled. His only income is disability social security. He borrowed some money from a bank, and is late on the payments. The bank, just now, took all that was in his checking account. This leaves him without money for food and other bills. Is this legal?

  6. Caitlin

    I have a change in income and can’t find anywhere on the ss website to update this. I can’t make it to the office to update this info and I am also hearing impaired, so I can’t use a phone to call.

    Could anyone please tell me how to update this info online?

  7. Marilyn S.

    Please tell me how I can change address and have my
    Online deposits go to different bank

    • Ray F.

      Hi Marilyn. The best way to accomplish your business with Social Security online is by creating a personal my Social Security account. You can use my Social Security to get a proof of benefits letter, change your address or phone number on our records, start or change your direct deposit, and check your benefit and payment information.

  8. Douglas M.

    This site is a lifesaver. Why don’t all the .gov sites have similar sites?
    Douglas Mallach

  9. John B.

    We received a notice that our benefits would not change. The next thing we see both of our checks are reduced. Any idea why?

    • Ray F.

      Unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with an explanation and answer questions about this matter. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. Thanks!

  10. Gerald G.

    How will a $10,000 a year increase in my wages for the last 5 years I work effect my benifits? For the past 10 years my income has varired from 40-45,000 a years.
    I just got a raise that will put my income in the 55-60,000 range. I’m planning to retire in about 5 years.

    • Ray F.

      Good question Gerald. The amount of the Social Security benefit you receive is established at the time you apply for Retirement Benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings and your age at the time you apply. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. You can use our online calculator where you can test various scenarios and retirement ages to estimate your benefits. You can also create a my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. We hope this information helps.

      • Gerald G.

        Thank you Sir,

Comments are closed.