The Social Security Administration announced a major expansion of the my Social Security services on January 7. Up to then, my Social Security services were limited to those over age 18 who were not yet receiving monthly benefits. In particular, people could establish their secure personal account, obtain their individual Social Security Statement, and use it to verify the accuracy of their Social Security earnings record while obtaining estimates of retirement, survivor and disability benefits based on those earnings.
Since January 7, my Social Security expanded to provide services for people already receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Once you create an account, if receiving Social Security you can:
- obtain a letter proving that you receive benefits including specific information needed
- check your benefit amount and other payment information
- view and update information including your address
- start, view, and change your direct deposit information for electronic transfer of benefits
Those receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or only SSI, can use these services except for actually making changes to their record.
The expanded my Social Security has been well received. From January through early February, more than 1,221,000 individuals have logged-in. Of this number, over 509,000 were beneficiaries.
Since initially launched in May 2012 with limited services, to the expanded services available now, over 3,947,000 individuals have successfully created personal my Social Security accounts. Over 30% of my Social Security users are now beneficiaries. These individuals have viewed their online Social Security Statement over 6,642,000 times.
Several people have told me how easy it was to create their account. You can create an account if you are at least 18 years old and have a valid E-mail address, a Social Security number, and a U.S. mailing address (includes military addresses, APO/FPO/DPO AE, AP or AA).
You may create an account only for yourself. You may not set up an account for another person, even if you have his or her written consent. This also applies to an appointed representative or someone who has business with that person.
Safeguards and optional security methods have been established to verify and protect your identity on your my Social Securityaccount. In my opinion, it is useful to read and understand these before creating your own account. Reminder: The Social Security Administration does not send email to advertise any of our services.
Create your account by going directly to the Social Security website, www.socialsecurity.gov. On the homepage there is a link labeled “my Social Security – sign in or create an account” or you can go directly to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/. Either way, note that the web address has .gov, standing for government. If not .gov, it is not Social Security.
Establish your personal my Social Security account and use the available services, but be sure you are at the official SSA website.