In January 2013, the Social Security Administration released a new feature on their website, my Social Security which offers a personalized online account that individuals can use to access their social security benefits, benefit verification letter, payment history and earnings records instantly!
How to Register
Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security income recipients are encouraged to go onto www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to set up their accounts. Once there, you will provide information about yourself and answer questions that only you are likely to know. After completing the secure verification process, a unique user name and password will be created to access your information. You must have a valid email address to register and be 18 years of age or older to sign up for an account online.
You may also visit your local Social Security office to apply in person for an online account. You will need proof of your current address, plus one of the following:
Valid U.S. driver's license;
Current state issued non-driver's identity card;
Unexpired U.S. passport or passport card;
U.S. military identification card; or
U.S. government employee identification card.
Benefits of Registration
Recipients receiving benefits currently can request a benefit verification letter online instantly which serves as proof of income to secure loans, mortgages, and other housing and state or local benefits. Additionally, the letter can be used to prove Medicare health insurance coverage, retirement or disability status and age. A copy of the letter can be saved for future use.
Last year, the Social Security Administration processed nearly nine million requests for benefit verification letters. This new online service allows users the ability to conduct business with Social Security without having to visit an office or make a phone call, and very often waiting for a letter in the mail. It will also reduce the time spent by employees processing these letters, so they can focus on other workloads.
The following information can be accessed online once you are registered: benefit payment amount, breakdown of current payment calculation, payment history, Medicare information, overpayment information, payment type, contact and representative payee information.
Additionally, if you receive Social Security benefits you can update contact information, sign up for direct deposit and update direct deposit information.
Security on this Site
My Social Security's new security process and federal guidelines require extra identity verification measures be taken when doing business online. It provides the site with another way to ensure that you are who you say you are.
If you go online to add extra security to your Social Security account, you must first verify your identity by providing financial information using one of the following:
The last eight digits from your Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card;
W-2 tax form information;
1040 Schedule SE (self-employment) tax information; and
The amount of your last direct deposit from your Social Security benefits.
Additional security measures can be added when you register to automatically send a text message each time your account is accessed.
How the Site Verifies Your Identity
The site uses an external authentication service provider, Experian, to help verify your identity. Your Social Security number is not shared with Experian. Experian will only retain the information shared with them for the period of time required by federal laws. Experian may use information from your credit report to help verify your identity. This may result in a "soft inquiry" on your Experian credit report.
Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and you do not incur any charges related to them. Soft inqui