Visiting your local Social Security office for a basic administrative update such as an address or name change can be tedious and time consuming. In pre-internet days, you had no choice but to physically go to a Social Security office for many tasks. These days, you can manage your own Social Security profile and execute many critical moves yourself online. It’s also worth mentioning that because of the pandemic, Social Security offices are now closed to the public. It is recommended to call your local office if you have an urgent inquiry, they’re typically staffed until 5 p.m. during weekdays.
An online Social Security account allows you to view your contributions to the Social Security program. You can also get a personalized estimate of your future Social Security payments in retirement. Periodically reviewing your Social Security record allows you to make sure your earnings are recorded correctly and to factor the likely pay out into your retirement plans.
Here’s what you can do with a My Social Security Account:
- Check your earnings record.
- See how much you have paid into Social Security.
- Get an estimate of your future Social Security payments.
- Find out how much you will qualify for if you become disabled.
- Determine what family members will receive if you die.
- Keep your account up to date by changing your address or direct deposit information.
- Request documentation, such as a replacement Social Security or Medicare card or benefit verification letter.
Whether you are young professional or approaching retirement, setting up a My Social Security account will allow you quick and easy access to your information on demand. When setting up the account, you will first need to provide some personal information to verify your identity. When you open the account for the first time you will be prompted to answer a series of multiple-choice questions that might include inquiries about cars you have owned, previous addresses, etc. You can also add extra security to your account by electing to use a one-time code received via text message or email each time you log in.