312 thoughts on “New Online Security

  1. Evidently you’re committed to making it impossible to use My Social Security.
    Extra burdens do NOT make things more secure.
    Thanks for nothing.

    • Extra burdens do not make extra security …. ? But our government is not concerned about the 5 million who don’t have texting phones, it’s the other 21 million tax payers that are being considered.

    • I don’t know what the fuss is all about. The government can’t protect their own data from hackers or other governments more or less ours. This is nothing but a case of the government letting us know who is in charge.

    • There were other ways to offer security. SSA deals with many adults, most with no cells. Why didn’t you make it something else re: DOB, where they were born,etc., you really make things hard for the elderly.

        • How true… Some people don’t have cell service where they live. This is not the way to go about it. Send the code to email, if you must use a code. Or, require something only the person would know. Some of us don’t have the ability to text. So what are we supposed to do?

      • I really appreciate all of the comments that are being shown that hopefully are telling our government what they should have already known before requiring everyone to be able to receive a text message in order to access our Social Security account via our computers. I am wondering if this requirement is also needed to access our Medicare information.

    • My IRS account was hacked 2 years ago it made it difficult for me to buy a new house so what will it do to me when my Social Security account is hacked the government can’t keep us safe from hackers anymore so leave my cell phone alone it is for me to use not the government

    • I must have a cell phone? Are you kidding? Gee, which cell phone manufacturers are you endorsing? Which ones are favored by the SSA?

      • my free phone and others have all been interfered with. Landline have been interfered with ever since I can remember. And, these are people that will say they’ve been involved with my mental health and who I live with and all of that! They kept me poor so I don’t have a chance to run and they tell authorities they were only handing out anti psychotic drugs to me and nothing illegal? That’s not true. They had illegal drugs in the home I stayed in with them.

    • Two factor authentication is not a bad idea, but having only one means of receiving the second factor is a very bad idea. Every other institution I deal with gives you a choice of 1) text message, 2) voice message on land line or cell phone without texting capability, or 3) email. This is sensible and doesn’t leave out a large number of citizens who don’t have or want to use the texting feature. Additionally, if something happens to your cell phone you may have to wait weeks to get a reset number from SSA by mail. Cell phone are much more likely to be lost or stolen than are landlines or email accounts, so this SSA decision to limit to texts will create a lot more grief in the future than if they had chosen to offer the usual options listed above. I’ll write my congressman to oppose this if you will!

    • In this era of identity theft my wife and I blocked our credit a few years ago. Little did we know that we would never be able to use mysocialsecurity again.

      Any common sense here? In trying to provide for our own online security the government wants me to take unacceptable chances. Thank you also for nothing.

    • “Our research shows that an overwhelming majority of American adults have cell phones and use them for texting. Because of technical and resource constraints, we are not currently able to offer alternative methods of satisfying this security requirement. However, we may consider adding more options in the future. We appreciate your patience as we work continuously to secure your online information.”
      What about people who pay for every text sent or received? What about people who don’t have or want a data plan? What about people with disabilities, arthritis, vision impairment? This is so typical of government I.T. incompetence. My California healthcare exchange displayed dates in European format for several months. I have financial accounts in three countries – not one REQUIRES a mobile phone. If I want to move or withdraw money, a couple have this one-time code but offer a choice of text, voice or email to get it. Odd how they have “resources” (i.e. money) to do it wrong but nothing left to do it right. What are the chances the website will time out which I wait for the code to arrive and then type it in. If I make a typo does the whole process start over? Incompetence at all level – but since there’s no accountability, who cares – the taxpayer probably pays for the over-the-top pensions anyway.

      • Unbelievable. They cite an “overwhelming majority of American adults” who use cellphones??? How about the majority of Social Security recipients??? That overwhelming majority the speak of probably consists of 20&30-something beeper heads who spend lots of time texting their “buds” and playing online games.

        Question to ponder, SSA. Are you supposed to serve us (recipients) or are we supposed to serve you?

    • Our most secure online connections are with our banks. I have accounts with over a dozen of them. And none of them require cellphone ownership or text messages to access these accounts. Some will ask me to answer a security question I’d previously set up in order to access my account. Others will send me a security code by email which I must enter on their site to access my account.

      Point is, both methods I mentioned are free and don’t require a “hardware” purchase. And for those of us who do own cellphones, some (like me) have to pay airtime charges to receive text messages.

      This security update was not well thought out before it was implemented and needs to be “reversed” – in favor of a free means of security verification like those currently in use by banks.

  2. Hi,
    l hope you are fine. l am Deaf Emmanuel Kofi Botwe form Ghana and move to Stockton. l want to job. Please l need a social security .
    l say thank you

  3. If I’m reading this correctly, this is a DUMB idea. How do those of us who don’t have a cell phone with texting capability access our account?

    • I agree fully. I have a basic cell phone that is only used for emergencies. No way to receive a text message with a code to use. Please rethink this or add an alternative. Maybe a code sent to your email address?

      • Long time “Mysocialsecurity” user… but no more. Yes I have a cellphone, but no texting. This new ‘security measure’ is too restrictive. It’s your responsibility to find a way for the rest of us to continue to use the system. Get to work!

        • I don’t own a cell phone. I don’t own one because I can’t AFFORD one. Is Social Security going to PAY for one for me? (Even if only one that only accepts texts from them?) I live outside the country. The MySocialSecurity site was the only way to keep up with what was going on with my account as mail from them was taking weeks to get to me. Now? I have to go thru an Embassy? Are you kidding me? Do they have any idea of how long it takes to get an appointment at a Consulate? Just when did the burden of administering this program fall on us? Social Security is fast becoming Social INSecurity.

        • Your comments are well taken Bruce and we assure you that we are continuously working to further improve the services we offer. We are limited to text messages for the initial multifactor authentication (MFA) implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future. For more information about our MFA process, check out https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/MoreInformationAboutMFA.html. Thanks!

          • You should have developed other options BEFORE you made this change…any bank could tell you how to authenticate…..you just killed my ssa because I don’t have cell

          • Here we go with the usual and customary bureaucratic BS!. If you are currently limited to the initial multifactor authentication procedure, you needed to wait till you got all your ducks in a row. But, based on the initial Obamacare srewups we all were exposed to, no surprises here, Mr. Fernandez. SSA is just following the same path all other government agencies have embarked upon: Throw the decreed crap against the wall and see what sticks!!

          • First, you just spent budget and resources on making your service user-hostile which is hardly an improvement.
            Second, the rest of your email is a waste of bandwidth. when it is clear from your words there is no forward planning. As for possibly having to go to a foreign US Embassy – so now you also want to put an aging population in harm’s way just because you can’t secure data from the inside? First, don’t outsource these systems – there are plenty of technologists in the USA, me included, who would jump at a change to do it right. PS: have someone make this text box bigger so I don’t have to scroll up and down so much! (Also a user-hostile design feature). If nothing else, re-code so this feature is only require if I want to change data, noy if I just want to view it.

    • Because of this stupid idea, you would have to mail your response at which time you want receive anything for 6 – 8 weeks. thats the government for ya!

    • Agree! This is ridiculous! I do not have texting and refuse to use it. My cell phone is for emergency only. Please stop this madness and you expect us to pay for texting charges..
      .shame on you!

    • If you do not have a cell phone, you will not be able to access your personal my Social Security account. Please visit our website at socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/ to learn other ways to contact us. Also, see our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.

      • I do not have a cell phone. However, you can send a text message to my email address. Just enter my email address in place of a phone number. The text message will be sent to my email. That is good idea….

      • A simple question. With which entities such as AARP, AMA, FCC (who ought to know about cell phone signal coverage) and similar bodies who care about the elderly and disadvantaged, was this asinine concept discussed before implementation?

      • ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION by a US government agency. Requiring someone to have a cellphone to access government services is ILLEGAL.

  4. I don’t want my cell phone number published with the govt. Don’t they still phone numbers? I don’t want my phone number sold for marketing purposes.

    • I agree I will not release my cellphone number to Facebook either. I am not having my number shared. Next thing the website get hacked, and now the hacker has more personal information besides my date of birth, social #, address, and then my private unlisted phone number too. NO way. You need to make it work so the security number you send can be emailed instead of texting.

    • Bruce and Donna,

      I completely agree with you both!! SAME HERE!

      DON’T punish all those who can NOT AFFORD CELL PHONE!!

      they can’t get by as is!

      bettyg, iowa

      • I DO NOT have a cell phone ! I am Deaf, and have a hard enough time as it is trying to use a CAPTIONED phone. I join Betty G, Donna, and Bruce in protesting this new policy. WHO CAN afford another phone just to contact your SS office?? Either use land lines or email….

        • You just gave me ANOTHER reason for NOT using a cellphone to contact you…WHERE DID YOU GET THAT PHOTOGRAPH?? No, I know where you got it. It is new and I haven’t even PUBLISHED anything yet…I should trust you with a cell phone #?? Get real!!

        • Hi Rahel. We have special services to help people deaf or hard-of-hearing. Click here for more information.

    • Hi Donna. We only use your cell phone information for access to your personal “my Social Security “ account. We will not use your cell phone number for marketing purposes.

      • Can you guarantee it will NEVER be hacked and if so you will incur the cost of the identify theft and hire someone to change our cell phones and update the new numbers?

      • Is the cell phone number encrypted in your databases? Are these databases accessible offshore and thus outside US jurisdiction? Let’s face it, the government can’t even manage the “Do Not Call” list.

  5. I live outside the US. I am unable to receive a text message unless you can dial my cell phone preceded by the International Code. Unless you can dial 011-52 before my 10-digit cell phone number I can’t see my account on-line. Am I right? This is a major inconvenience.

    • Same happen to me I live outside the US and I am unable to receive a text message unless sender dials my cell phone preceded by the International Code. Unless sender dials 011-57 before my 10-digit cell phone number I can’t receive a text message from US.

      • If your cell phone can receive texts, you will still be able to access your account but keep in mind that your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply. If you are overseas and cannot receive text messages or are concerned about roaming charges, you will not be able to access your account. Our webpage Services Around the World provides important information for our customers residing overseas. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance related to Social Security benefits.

        • I’m not giving out my number. I don’t trust the government enough for that. They’re to intrusive as it is. I just won’t use “mysocialsecurity” again.

    • Thank you for your comment Judith. If your cell phone can receive texts, you will still be able to access your account but keep in mind that your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply. If you are overseas and cannot receive text messages or are concerned about roaming charges, you will not be able to access your account. Our webpage Services Around the World provides important information for our customers residing overseas. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance related to Social Security benefits.

  6. So at this point the ‘my Social Security’ website is not available to anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone?? While extra security is laudable, and yes the majority of adults do have a cell phone these days, but I & some others I know currently do not own a cell phone & do not have a need for one at present. I have consistently accessed my account at ‘my Social Security’ but now I guess I won’t be able to. My advice: please don’t assume everyone has a cell phone & offer another means of authentication to those who do not. Your article mentions: “Because of technical and resource constraints, we are not currently able to offer alternative methods of satisfying this security requirement. However, we may consider adding more options in the future. We appreciate your patience as we work continuously to secure your online information.” Your immediate attention to this area would be appreciated by those of us who would like to use the website, but do not currently own a cell phone. Thanks.

  7. Does providing my cell phone number also authorize people to use my cell phone to contact me to sell me goods or services? My cell phone is on the National “Do Not Call” registry but I’m still getting “junk” calls.

  8. I do not have a cell phone. However, you can send a text message to my email address. Just enter my email address in place of a phone number. The text message will be sent to my email.

    • If you cannot receive text message on your cell phone, you will not be able to access my Social Security. To access your personal my Social Security account, you need a cell phone that can receive text messages. Each time you sign in, we send a text to your cell phone that contains a security code you will need to enter to access your account. Keep in mind that your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply.
      Please visit our website at socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/ to learn other ways to contact us.

      • So Mr. Fernandez it seems that anyone without a cell phone that can receive text messages will be required to go in person to a Social Security office to find at information on an account.
        Did anyone at Social Security think this out before deciding upon the cell phone requirement?

        • Hello Steve, please remember that we implemented mandatory multifactor authentication, or (MFA) to comply with Executive Order 13681, which requires federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services.
          We encourage our customers who will not be able to access their personal mySocial Security account without a cell phone to visit our website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact to learn about other ways to contact us to access their benefits information. SSA is committed to providing our customers with convenient and secure online access to their personal information, helping secure today and tomorrow for our customers.

          • So here’s the source of this trouble reveled; an Obama exec. order. I suspected as much.

          • Executive Order 13681 only concerns financial transactions. Your statement above is bogus and a lie. Does not apply to restrict access to SSA accounts.

        • Hi Steve. The text message option has been a feature in my Social Security since its launch in May 2012. Making this functionality mandatory allows us to comply with the executive order and use a reliable method of multifactor authentication (MFA) for our almost 26 million current account holders. For more information about our MFA process, check out https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/MoreInformationAboutMFA.html. Thanks!

  9. It is nearly impossible to get on easily. Just change my password, got on and 1 hour later try to get on again and it does not like my password (which I wrote down so I know I’m using the correct password)

  10. This is ridiculous. I have a cell phone but not a smart phone and do not have texting. So thanks for nothing.
    FYI most seniors do not have a smart phone and it is them you are trying to serve.

    • I agree. Most seniors do not have texting if they have a cell phone. Many don’t have cell phones. Why weren’t SENIORS considered when setting up something for Social Security?!

      • Government Employees, like Elected Officials forget they work for us. As a Senior I will answer this issue the way all Seniors should. On Election Day. Send a clear message that if Government is not going to work for their employers they will be fired. VOTE AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS until they get the message. Our SSA accounts belong to us. We should be able to access them with whatever means we have and can afford. This is still a free country, don’t let them make it a dictatorship.

  11. As with many others, including a huge number of retired persons who don’t feel the need to be “connected” 24/7, I don’t have a cell phone. How am I supposed to access the site?

  12. While I have a smart phone, and can access the internet on it, Verizon charges me an ungodly amount for texting, therefore it is turned off, you should have at least one other way for multi-factor authentication as do ALL of the other private industry sites. Either a phone call or an email would do fine.. ALL other sites requiring multi-factor authentication offer all three choices.. NOT JUST ONE…

    • Thank you for your comment Ron. We are limited to text messages for the initial multifactor authentication (MFA) implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future.

  13. I have no cell phone! I am one of a million people that does not want to pay to send out and then receive messages! I flew to La in Dec and came home with no worries! Safe and sound! Who can afford a extra phone bill each month! I can’t, not when your on disability! Shame on the system!

  14. Your premise that more and more Americans have cells phones might be correct; but I would venture that most of them are not 62 and over who will be the main consumers accessing (or attempting to access) their Social Security account. Or those who do may not have opted for the extra expense of receiving/sending text messages. Or those on Social Security may not be able to afford a cell phone.
    Did you really think this through before implementing?

  15. Pretty sad you are not offering an alternative. MANY people do not have cell phones and I am one. I can’t afford to get one.

    • Hi Pam. The text message option has been a feature in my Social Security since its launch in May 2012. Making this functionality mandatory allows us to comply with the executive order and use a reliable method of multifactor authentication (MFA) for our almost 26 million current account holders. We are limited to text messages for the initial MFA implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future.

      • Typical canned response from a government agency. This is what happens when government agencies AND other businesses are allowed to layoff older workers who would have told them, up front, how stupid and impractical they are being to implement such an ignorant plan.
        You want to send us to a SS office that cut back on staffing because of the availability of online services? Wait a whole day in an under staffed Government office? How “special”!

  16. It’s bad enough that we have to spend $100/month for Internet to access government information. Now we have to have a text-message capable cellphone as well?

  17. Until you find a way to allow Americans living overseas to have online access like everyone else; I will not be able to benefit from this valuable service.
    At present one of the conditions to have access to your social security account is you have to have a US address.
    Please revisit these rules, so we all may benefit from your services.

  18. Thanks. you nitwits have just rendered this site just about useless for me. There are other far better MFA choices like shared secrets where a user free-forms a question and answer that only he or she has knowledge of then shares it with you, or a shared picture preference. Linking hardware and users is a terrible solution that you should retract and abandon immediately. If you must, continue it as an option for those who prefer it. For the rest of us, let us alone. Now!

  19. I think this is a good idea. One feature I would like to have is for SsI recipients to be able to do address changes through my social security. I often worry that the phone representatives enter info incorrectly. I don’t know why people who are disabled since childhood are treated as second class citizens and not able to update info online. People on retirement as are no better than ppl with lifelong illnesses. For you all who don’t have cell phones. I understand the cost, but the double security is necessary. There are companies that give free phones with texting for low income people. Budget mobile is a really good one. I wouldn’t feel safe without a phone. My condition makes it hard for me to walk. So I don’t go outside at all without my phone. Thank you ssa for looking out for our security.

    • So you think I should pay over $1000 a year just to have a smart cell phone for when I want to use the Social Security web site?

      I now am sure my Social Security data is so secure that even I cannot access it.

      I

    • I assume you get SSI but your typing is so poor I can’t tell. Most SSI payments like most SS payments are direct deposited to a bank or to a CU. However the amount paid is also based upon where you live and your living arrangements. Such can not be gleaned without asking you questions usually through an interview. So don’t expect a change in this area any time soon.

  20. The need for a cell phone will now limit the availability to folks, not a valid way to secure the system. To many, a cell phone is still a luxury, for someone dwelling in an assisted or skilled facility there is just no need for the added cost of a cell. This does NOT fix the system.

  21. So this means when S.S.A. is hacked by computer hackers, not only will they have all my info but now they’ll also have my phone number. WOW. What a boon for hackers.!

  22. As Mr Borland and others responsible for this rather short sighted decision are finding out, many people don’t have cell phones or don’t have texting or have to pay a fee for receiving a text, etc. This should never have been implemented w/o additional research and alternate options for people to provide the additional multifactor authentication.

    Many companies will call a number (home/cell)and provide an authorization code for the person to submit, or send an email with the code, or ask additional security questions the customer sets up. There are so many options to provide additional security/authentication.

    I have to seriously question the SSA leadership for allowing this to happen and the technical expertise of those who implemented this ridiculous policy.

    • Thanks for your comment Paul. Among our fundamental responsibilities at the Social Security Administration is protecting the safety and security of the information entrusted to us. We take our responsibility very seriously and, with that commitment, have always provided my Social Security account holders with the option of an extra layer of security. On July 30, 2016, we implemented mandatory Multifactor Authentication (MFA) to comply with Executive Order 13681, which requires federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. At this time, we are only using the text message method for authentication. For more information about our MFA process, check out https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/MoreInformationAboutMFA.html. Thanks!

  23. So now you are forcing us to buy, & pay monthly charges for, a cell phone? Ridiculous idea!! I do not have a cell phone with text options nor can I afford to buy one. Discrimination!!??!! Only those who have cell phones with text capabilities will be able to access their accounts! And, many SS recipients are in their 70’s, 80’s & up and do not have cell phones. I suggest that you rethink this ridiculous plan!!!

    • The text message option has been a feature in my Social Security since its launch in May 2012. Making this functionality mandatory allows us to comply with the executive order and use a reliable method of multifactor authentication (MFA) for our almost 26 million current account holders. We are limited to text messages for the initial MFA implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future. For more information about our MFA process, check out https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/MoreInformationAboutMFA.html. Thanks!

      • Isn’t cut a paste a wonderful feature for you? Otherwise you’d have to re-type a lot of your responses.

        I think the government should provide a free text enabled cell phone, to everyone on Social Security, pay for the service and FORCE the cell phone providers to give everyone good cell phone service where they live.

  24. Me too!! We have a cell phone, but it is TELEPHONE ONLY . . . no ability to accept text messages. As a retired programmer and system designer, it appears to me that you failed to consider all of the requirements for this new implementation.

  25. Carrying out financial transactions using online bank and brokerage accounts do not mandatorily require the use of this “multilevel authentication” then why does SSA choose not to keep it optional or at the least offer alternatives such as telephone or email notification of the security code? This is an absurd and self-defeating requirement that puts an added burden and cost upon many elderly folks who do not have cell phones. Dough is right when he says it is a “dumb” idea and as a consequence cause an increase in telephone contacts with SSA rather than encourage the on-line use of my Social Security.

  26. I just sent an email to the social security office regarding the same issue that each one of you have addressed. This is ridiculous. I have to agree with all of the above remarks. Social Security has locked many senior citizens out of their website so that we can not get our own information. This must have been recommended by young leadership at the social security office.

    Please talk to your senior citizens. Why doesn’t the social security website have all the bells and whistles to prevent hackers from obtaining information?

  27. typical stupid american nonesense , why am I not surprised?
    Plenty dont have or cant afford cell phones yet have paid into social security etc for decades and are barred

    God! You people sicken me.If my son and daughter werent here Id be out of this backward country tomorrow free medical free drugs free public transport all higher quality too

  28. This is not a good idea. My cellphone is for emergency use only. I pay by the minute. I don’t want to be charged every time I need to access MY account online. Who thought this was a good idea?

  29. This new level of security — sending a code in a text message to a cell phone — will make it impossible for my wife and me to access the my Social Security site. It is not a good idea and you need to find other options to offer to make the site more secure. Some companies send an oral code to the home telephone immediately after the customer requests the code while she begins logging in. The cell phone can be hacked as easily as a computer, so why not give the option of sending the code by email. More older adults have email accounts than they have cell phones. Such options should have been put in place before you rolled out the new security feature.

      • I’m in information systems, SS already has a fully developed email system. This initiative had to be developed in addition to the email capability. You may be able to BS some of us, but not all of us. This policy was installed without consideration of the people you serve.

  30. Cell phone technology and Texting is beyond my capability. This so-called security improvement will make it impossible for me to address any problem. I urge you to reconsider your clients who are unable to function in this day and age. Accessing via computer is currently difficult enough.
    Further I thoroughly resent having to supply my e-mail address to still another site and thus be subject to further spam.

  31. Maybe some of the money we gave to
    iran should have been used to buy those if us thst don’t have one,a cell phone.

    Just another case of doing what they want. The heck with us…

    Have fun trying to connect with an agent!

    • DITTO! a mere $400 MILLION $$$, piled onto wood pallets & shipped on unmarked planes TO IRAN!!!
      . .. . .should be enough to pay the monthly costs of cell phone service for all seniors, et al. on Soc.Sec. – – for maybe a few months – -depending on how much more the FCC & FTC continue to allow the monopolistic phone co’s to gouge us . . . . .

      – – but I bet we could do better with a portion of the $$$ BILLIONS $$$ that we fork out EVERY year to foreign countries –the very tax $$$ that WE PAID FOR!!

  32. All of the comments are valid. Absolutely crazy idea to have to use a cell phone to prove identity. Who thinks up these things? Please have a meeting and work hard to have reasonable measures for SS recipients. Don’t put the burden on us because of the govs lack of ability to control security. It is only going to get worse. Companies want paperless so everything is computer. I don’t think the stats are correct on cell phones or computers for older segment.

  33. It is just another way for the Government to help the big companies get more money for what they are going to charge extra for the texting and at the same time get more information on you.

    • Hi Joseph, for information about the food stamps program, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to contact your local SNAP office.

  34. Vote the Obama team out. Tell your congressman. Tell your congress person your vote counts. Stop supporting the AARP. And everybody thinks privatizing SS was a bad idea. Government is a bad idea.

  35. What if there is NO cell service in your area?
    Now we can not use the site. A lot of rural areas DONOT have cell service.

    • Yeh! I have a cell phone and I text a little BUT I’m moving to a rural area that has very spotty service, often none.
      It’s all my fault this seems so STUPID I guess, I’m the one moving. And why do you need my email address for this comment???

    • Hi Carol. We recognize that not every my Social Security account holder may have a cell phone, have consistent cell service in a rural area, or be able to receive a text message. We implemented the text message feature for very important reasons:
      The text message option has been a feature in my Social Security since its launch in May 2012. Making this functionality mandatory allows us to comply with the executive order and use a reliable method of MFA for our almost 26 million current account holders.
      Our research shows that an overwhelming majority of American adults have cell phones and use them for texting.
      We are limited to text messages for the initial MFA implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future. For more information about our the multifactor authentication (MFA) process, check out https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/MoreInformationAboutMFA.html.

  36. I am repeatedly amazed at how many of our Gov’t institutions REPEATEDLY ASSUME THAT EVERYONE HAS A CELL PHONE!!! My God! – – the absolute EPITOME of ELITIST, EXTREME IVORY TOWER SYNDROME IGNORANCE!!!

    You millennials can find the meaning of Ivory Tower syndrome in the dictionary [that’s a book –the square thing with lots of paper pages bound together]

    . . . . . and D.C wonders why so many people are fed up?? How about getting in touch with some reality – – get out of your offices, and out of your cars, and off of your *&(%! — AND, start walking around the country for a few months – -you might learn a few things that are actually useful!!!

    . . . . and how many respondents want to bet that they don’t even bother to read these responses??

  37. Sounds Like Nothing is Good about this! And AARP wants more Donations one after another! Constantly to get $800.00 More each year. But with the Mail I get from AARP to Donate all the time saying I am not Donating is Crazy! Maybe I should Stop Donating at lease you would be right then! I can’t afford to keep donating to get more money Retired People should get it anyway!!

  38. While they may be in the minority of ALL US citizens, there are a huge number of people in (or nearing) Social Security age that don’t have text-capable cell phones, if they cell phones at all.

    Many of my clients are elderly. They will not be “helped” by this. Re-think this “roadblock” that you have placed in the way of many people. Otherwise, do not delay putting in place the “alternative(s)” you promise.

  39. Really, not everyone has a compatible cell phone. Many people have older cell phones that are just phones. This is a typical example of someone who came up with a supposed brilliant idea but who has not thought it all the way through. You have imposed a new rule for people with limited funds who may not have the luxury of high tech gadgets and made life even more difficult. Really?

  40. I guess this is another supposed good thing from the OBAMA administration (LOL). Don’t vote for HILLARY or you’ll get more of the same old supposed GOOD FOR PEOPLE crap.

  41. Most seniors don’t text or have smart phones. Surely you can send a code via email if you can send a text. That does not sound very technically challenging to me (IT professional)

    • Thank you for your comment Bernie. We are limited to text messages for the initial MFA implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future.

  42. Just want to add my 2 cents that this is a BAD idea. Why not simply ask one of the secret questions and be done with it? Many seniors do not have a “smart” phone that can send and receive text messages. On top of that, even if they may have a “smart” phone, they may not have a plan that allows them to receive text messages without incurring additional charges. And someone posted a question for those who live overseas, does SSA have the capability to include 011 and the country code with the phone number? I know the IRS does not with its e-file schema.

  43. This is without a doubt one of the stupidest ideas to come out of the SSA ever. I do not have texting service and I don’t want it nor to have to pay for something I won’t use. Where was AARP when this lame-brain plan was being hatched? Too busy fund-raising, I’d guess, to even take the time. No wonder people have no use (let alone respect) for the government and its out-of-touch bureaucrats.

    • The AARP would have been no help. They have no financial skin in the game. They supported Obamacare as it allowed them to push supplemental policies and inturn make big bucks. Follow the money.

  44. I’m only 53 and I don’t have a cell phone at all. I do have a landline. This is a short-sighted decision that as pointed out by the many comments above mine does impact many folks who need access to their account information and don’t have or maybe don’t want to pay for cell service. Between the elderly, rural, foreign-living and those who don’t have a cell phone for whatever reason, there needs to be a functional alternative to support the users/payers of the SS system.

  45. I have trouble remembering passwords lil alone codes i can’t deal with this new stuff that keeps being add then you the social security government are making stuff to difficult to get to know or understand what you think we the disabled an on social security for the old an survivors of they loved ones that have passed away then you have all these rules that half the time we don’t or can’t understand then you tell us we was paid too much an then you withhold more or it’s not our fault if you make mistakes on our monthly benefits but you make it be our fault for your mistakes and we have to deal the best to get our own lives straighten out!!

  46. Since OLD people have SS most of them don’t text. So add some security questions, but don’t cater to the Millenniums who won’t need access to your website for many years.

  47. Some accounts I have provide the option of using one of two or three alternate phone numbers Why is a home number using a voice or touch tone response option off limits?

    • Thank you for your question William. We are limited to text messages for the initial multifactor authentication (MFA) implementation due to technical and resource constraints. We may consider adding additional options in the future.

  48. I was so pleased when I could finally access my account on line. This text message requirement is a giant step backwards and it won’t work for me as I live outside the US.

    • Hi Judith. If your cell phone can receive texts, you will still be able to access your account but keep in mind that your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply. If you are overseas and cannot receive text messages or are concerned about roaming charges, you will not be able to access your account. Our webpage Services Around the World provides important information for our customers residing overseas. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance related to Social Security benefits.

  49. I have an inexpensive flip cell phone which I use just for emergencies. My plan, which does not include “texting” costs less than $10 over four months! SSA decided that no COLAs will be provided. My federal pension is tied into this same nonsense. So, I need to go back to getting paper products! You are taking us backwards!! Please, keep the on-line availability.

  50. I live overseas and the system didn’t accept my cell phone number. Now what do I do to get online access to My Social Security?

    • Thank you for your question Steve. If your cell phone can receive texts, you will still be able to access your account but keep in mind that your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply. If you are overseas and cannot receive text messages or are concerned about roaming charges, you will not be able to access your account. Our webpage Services Around the World provides important information for our customers residing overseas. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance related to Social Security benefits.

      • Ray- You missed his point, he is overseas and cannot register his cell phone because your system does not allow international prefixes and country codes to be inputted. You cannot just refer all SSA recipients to “contact” the nearest embassy – try and get through, neither can we call any USA office – with exorbirant international rates, who can hold for 30mins to 2 hours to speak with an operator? Why not send the code to our email address as many suggest here as a text alternative?

        • my Social Security does not support cell phone numbers more than 10 digits at this time. We currently support international phone numbers only if they are within the North American numbering plan of 10 digits. When we refer individuals living overseas to contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, we include the embassy’s email address. Visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foreign/foreign.htm. Thanks

  51. What lamebrain thought this one up? I’m not convinced another level of security is really required, but if so, this is probably the worst idea possible. You are primarily dealing with an elderly population who are far less likely to have and be comfortable using, a text-capable smart phone. And who are prone to misplacing that cell phone if they do own one. And who frequently forget to keep the cell phone charged. And I can think of another half dozen, valid reasons why this is a terrible idea.
    I find this lack of common sense in an agency we so strongly rely on to be very discouraging.

  52. Guess this means our cellphone costs are now totally tax deductible. If I need It to access government services it should actually be a total tax credit, deducted directly from the total income taxes owed. I can do that!

  53. This SUCKS. This forces me to get a more expensive cell phone and more expensive plan but I get no SSA raise. Is this also going to affect Medicare???

  54. my complaint is that I do not have a cell phone nor plan to get one, I am 70 years old and SSA is now making me pay $100.00 or more for monthly for a cell phone-thats crazy!
    why not use the system that VA Pay uses? or military retirement system?

  55. I am among the “minority” who doesn’t have texting on my cell phone. You need to provide an alternate to the texting requirement.

  56. This is an idea that hurts so many people that is is criminal. I many years ago i did a administrative internship at HEW and learned that the government is run by youngsters who had ideas without any idea of what the real world is like. This is a great example of that culture continuing. Real businesses would go bankrupt with this culture and it is time that we change things to get real business people involved in government decision making not over educated under experienced kids allowed to make decisions that are not in the best interest of the people they are supposed to being serving.

    • If you do not have a cell phone, you will not be able to access your personal my Social Security account. To access your personal my Social Security account, you need a cell phone that can receive text messages. Each time you sign in, we send a text to your cell phone that contains a security code you will need to enter to access your account. Please visit our website at socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/ to learn other ways to contact us.

  57. Vote for Trump to eliminate this kind of government harassment. These type of procedures are living proof that someone is getting paid off! All your government is corrupt at the top!

  58. Why can you not text to my email address? This does not seem to serve the population that would have a my social security online account. None of my other government and private online accounts have this requirement. Does not seem well thought out.

  59. I agree with all the other comments I’ve read here. I have an antique cell for emergencies only… no texting! I do not give the number to anyone, even my doctors. But I have received a few texts via email.

  60. I have a basic cell phone, not a smart phone. I do not text or receive texts. I debated long and hard about whether to open a mySocialSecurity account at all but went ahead and got one. Now this policy makes my account useless. Security can be a good thing, but there are other ways to provide authentication. Someone didn’t think think about the consequences of this policy.

  61. Dear Social Security Admin: You read the complaints. Most are against cell phone texts. So why not just use a one or two extra security questions? Simpler, easier to use and we have control over the question and the answer. You could use a “Pin code” just as easy. What nitwit came up with the cell phone solution, a 25 year old right out of college?

    • If you were providing the phone, that would be great. I have a bank account that has this multilevel security, but has choices like which phone, text, e-mail etc. A majority of people from 12-50 in age might have cell phones, but those on a fixed income, as has been represented here do not have such cell phones. They are an unnecessary expense on a limited income. I don’t go out much as I am on disability and have not driven in two years, so I don’t feel a need for one. My husband has one with him, given by his employer, but I don’t have use of it either. What happens when he changes employers and we have no cell phones. I would venture to say that people over 50, those on disability income, and those on SS income are all limited and on budgets that do not afford cell phones, or at least ones that are text enabled or plans that have texting. You need to get real with your “research”. I would venture to say you have made a false assumption rather than having done actual research about who has cell phones that are text enabled.

  62. The SSA should consider sending the code to your landline, which can then be entered to access your account. This method is not new technology and has been available for quite a few years on credit cards issued by some of the major banks. Works well and is more secure than using a cell phone, which can be readily disposable. This was really not thought through before implementing, it’s especially a burden on the Elderly population that SS was designed for.

  63. Just another government good deal. This was probably thought up by some person still showing their lobotomy scar. Shows a large lack of thinking ability. Author of this new rule thought it up so as to feel important.

  64. This would be funny on April 1, but otherwise it is simply unbelievable. Millennials rarely want to access mySocialSecurity. People who get SSI benefits are, almost by definition, too poor to have text-capable phones, and many over 60 who do have cell phones are likely to have flip phones without texting. As others have pointed out, banks manage to verify account holders without relying on text messages.

  65. This is a stupid idea on every level. First of all few seniors trust that the change was implemented based upon research that shows most seniors have cell phones and can receive text messages. Secondly, it is mind boggling for seniors to try and input the amount of their last payment. Frequently, the call is being made because of a change in the amount and the senior has to ponder whether or not the amount includes the medicare premium. By the time this is figured out the system hangs up and tells the senior to call back once he knows the amount. And now the text crap. I am text savvy but I hate the feature and shut it off and my phone if a flip throw away.
    Now SSA is investing, another term for wasting tax dollars, in a system which makes it harder for seniors and the disabled to use. The money could be better spent protecting our TOP SECRET documents from bureaucratic idiots. I really don’t give a damn if the Chinese know how much my check was last month.

  66. “BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE”

    since when does OUR govt tell us that we MUST have a cell phone ??? or is this the so-called Obama Phone that everybody could get for free…….Just Say’n

  67. If you were providing the phone, that would be great. I have a bank account that has this multilevel security, but has choices like which phone, text, e-mail etc. A majority of people from 12-50 in age might have cell phones, but those on a fixed income, as has been represented here do not have such cell phones. They are an unnecessary expense on a limited income. I don’t go out much as I am on disability and have not driven in two years, so I don’t feel a need for one. My husband has one with him, given by his employer, but I don’t have use of it either. What happens when he changes employers and we have no cell phones. I would venture to say that people over 50, those on disability income, and those on SS income are all limited and on budgets that do not afford cell phones, or at least ones that are text enabled or plans that have texting. You need to get real with your “research”. I would venture to say you have made a false assumption rather than having done actual research about who has cell phones that are text enabled.

  68. I do not have a cell phone or even a mobile device. I do NOT want either.

    I urge SSA to reconsider this short-sighted requirement to allow email address as an option in addition to cell phone number for multi-factor authentication.

    It is so much more convenient to access my online account than it is for me to call SSA through a relay service as the latter is SOOOOO time-consuming.

    • I’ve contacted the office of my Congressman Gerry Connolly asking them to follow through with whomever at SSA.

      “Because of technical and resource constraints, we are not currently able to offer alternative methods of satisfying this security requirement.” Really? SSA really dropped the ball on this one big time.

  69. AND, what if your one of the many people who, by choice, DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE?

    This seems like just another to “data mine”.

  70. You are assuming that all seniors have a cell phone and that all seniors text. You cannot make that assumption. All the financial institutions that I deal with offer an email option. Why won’t that work for the social security website? Without an email option you are leaving no choice but to either add text messaging to my cell service or go back to the old days and visit my local SS branch office.

  71. This will make it impossible for anyone without a cell phone to use the site. Thanks for making everything more complicated for seniors and the disabled. You know, the ones you’re suppose to be helping.

  72. What makes you think that most seniors text?
    Do you really think that Social Security pays enough for many senior citizens to even AFFORD a smart phone? Did you even take into account the fact that seniors have many eye problems which preclude them from texting even if they have a phone with that capacity?
    What happens to people residing outside the country? Oh, they are to go to their Embassy or Consulate? Have you thought of just how far that might be? Or just how long to get an appointment there?
    Phone your social security office? The International Operations office has a phone number that has a message ‘if you need us to call you back, please leave your phone number”…….well, I have left 23 such messages in the last 31 days with NO CALLBACK. So, just how realistic is this?
    I recommend that everyone who is commenting on this page write and or call their congressmen and Senators and let them know of this new, ridiculous directive. Seniors VOTE……consistently VOTE (more that any other demographic). Perhaps they (our representatives) will at least be interested in the fact that we can show our displeasure with our withholding of that vote they count on!

    • We apologize for the inconvenience. We have referred your complaint to our Office of International Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

      • Well Mr Fernandez…….I am not holding my breath for a call-back!
        This is not my first rodeo with that office…….While I have been most impressed with some of the staff there……the problem is GETTING thru to them/having them RETURN calls. (Do you know that 1 of the phone numbers you promote for general inquiring calls has been a line dedicated to a specific legal settlement? For MONTHS?)
        What good is a phone line that asks : your name/your ssi #/a quick mention of the problem and then your phone # for them to call you back if they NEVER call back?
        What good is preparing everything for a waiver request/ having to pay almost $50 to send such request (local postal strike and FedEx/UPS etc are unable to deliver to a US PO Box)…..having a signature of the IO mailroom signing for said package yet NO ONE CAN FIND IT? Are you kidding me? And now…..unable to access the mysocialsecurity site? THIS is progress?

    • >>I recommend that everyone who is commenting on this page write and or call their congressmen and Senators and let them know of this new, ridiculous directive>>

      Unfortunately this is an election year, plus summer recess–so NOTHING will get DONE

      Suggest contact your local news media consumer affairs people….the Gov’t doesn’t like being in the news

  73. This is the worst idea that you have presented. do your homework and make this option user friendly. for those without cell phones use a landline or add questions to complete this security feature. DO NOT force elders to spend money for texting just to appease some bureaucratic BS! This is one reason the country is going in the wrong direction. No consideration for the “people” affected by ridiculous decision makers!

  74. I do not have a cell phone. Now, how do I log on? What do you propose? There must be other ways to verify authenticity of contact. This is ridiculous !!!!!!

  75. I’m with all the others. I don’t have a cell phone but I do have internet and a land line. Please give me back access as quickly as possible as I am getting very close to retirement age. I am disappointed that you chose to roll this out without more options for security. I have also notified my senator about this development. I agree to more security. I do not like the EXCLUSIVENESS of your one option only.

  76. Government administrators are self serving twerps. The same government types that put all my security clearance information online then lost it to the Chinese because they didn’t even employ the security used by a credit card company now expect me to get a cell phone and pay for texting so they can play some more security theater. A pox on all of them!

  77. I have never heard so much whining and complaining in my life. SSA is required to add another layer of security to its on-line site. I am assuming that you would all be in an uproar if SSA was hacked and you would be demanding that more should have been done to protect your personal information. Well, more is being done and here you are having a fit.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    • Just so you understand – adding this type of layer of so called security doesn’t keep SSA from being hacked – SSA wasn’t hacked because they didn’t have another layer of security for individuals accounts – the complaints aren’t about the cell phone# it’s the lack of another option and the making it a “requirement” by SSA to access your own account – & this “requirement” can be a finical impact for many seniors

  78. SSA didn’t tell me back in 2013 that they changed their system and I couldn’t access my account because they contract with EXPERIAN Credit Bureau and all my personal information had to be in sync with Experian’s records which were three years old. So I had to purchase Experian even though I had Equifax…a far superior and more user-friendly Credit Bureau. So now, SSA require that I have a cell phone with texting to set up and gain access TO MY SOCIAL SECURITY INFORMATION!!!!! Maybe I’ll hire a 15-year old hacker to help me get access to MY OWN INFORMATION.

  79. I see by the comments, folks are vastly against this text decision! Anyone who agrees with this decision (OBAMA, AGAIN!) is as lost as he is (and DEE!)! The simple answer is, email our damn computers!!!

  80. Then again, there is a bright side….with this asinine decision, nobody will be accessing the SSA accounts, so….they can RIF 98% of the SSA folks and save SOME of our tax dollars!!!

  81. I think insisting on a cell phone number for login to our own account is harassment of senior citizens. It will definitely not win any praise for security. Please add more alternatives like code through registered email or registered land line. Otherwise we will never be able to login to our SSA account and that is not fair and it defeats the purpose of creating online access.

      • Are you trying to be funny, or just another BS artist.

        Ever since the hacking of various retail companies and financial institutions(credit cards) the last several years, the Privacy Act of 1974 has been fortified with amendments and Executive Orders to increase security. Just about every organization I deal with the last few years, has implemented the ‘Multi-Factor Authentication’ process with MULTIPLE types of verification.

        So what’s your excuse for being so inept that you are limited to ONLY one????

  82. I am not saying I agree with with this by any means,I do agree cell phones are expensive. People work their whole life and can’t even draw enough to to live on . There are places where there give cell phones to people. Call your local Medicaid, Medicare .

  83. What a STUPID move ! (normal). Maybe your research was flawed in that most adults have cell phones and text! I am sure that most retired seniors on social security don;t text ! It is hard enough for most of us to use a computer at all , now this ! Maybe3 you are just trying to eliminate a large number of us from getting in contact with you ! Thanks for the added time and expense this will cost me! Just what we need, more stress in our lives !!!

  84. What makes you think that most seniors text?
    Do you really think that Social Security pays enough for many senior citizens to even AFFORD a smart phone? Did you even take into account the fact that seniors have many eye problems which preclude them from texting even if they have a phone with that capacity?
    What happens to people residing outside the country? Oh, they are to go to their Embassy or Consulate? Have you thought of just how far that might be? Or just how long to get an appointment there?
    Phone your social security office? The International Operations office has a phone number that has a message ‘if you need us to call you back, please leave your phone number”…….well, I have left 23 such messages in the last 31 days with NO CALLBACK. So, just how realistic is this?
    I recommend that everyone who is commenting on this page write and or call their congressmen and Senators and let them know of this new, ridiculous directive. Seniors VOTE……consistently VOTE (more that any other demographic). Perhaps they (our representatives) will at least be interested in the fact that we can show our displeasure with our withholding of that vote they count on!

    • We apologize for the inconvenience. We have referred your complaint to our Office of International Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  85. SSA has been making our lives miserable for a long time by requiring us to change passwords at frequent intervals. Now this… I find it humorous that my credit union requires the same account identifier and 8 digit password I have used for the past 14 years and it has never been hacked.

    I guess SSA will just insist on having its way and being the most difficult to deal with entity on the web. It will still be hacked but it will not be through any individual’s account. The hackers will come in a back-door and steal everyone’s information while we are all trying to figure out how to log in.

    This would be funny if it weren’t so real.

  86. I HATE YOUR NEW FEATURE.
    IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST PEOPLE UNABLE TO AFFORD CELL PHONE
    AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT TECH. CAPABLE

  87. IF YOU WANT TO BE HELPFUL HAVE CONGRESS START RETURNING THE SS MONEY THEY TOOK FOR THEIR PORK BARREL PROJECTS. SS IS NOT PART OF THE FED. BUDGET. IT IS SELF-SUPPORTING. AND IS CONGRESS WOULD PAY BACK WHAT THEY STOLE FROM SENIORS….WOULD BE FUNDED FOR DECADES AND DECADES. DO SOMETHING INTELLIGENT FOR SENIORS…DON’T JUST MAKE OUR LIVES MORE CLUMSY AND DIFFICULT. IF INTERESTED SEE AL GORE ON LOCK BOX FOR SS $$$$$.

  88. I think this is a terrible idea!!! I don’t have a cell phone nor do I care to incur the expense of having one. You want people to use the online site you always tout that it is faster and always accessible. Now you put up a barrier to using the site in the form of an additional expense for those who cannot afford a smart phone. So now when I have a question I guess I will just have to call and wait on hold for hours. Thanks a lot for nothing.

  89. What a ridiculous idea.

    Most seniors either don’t have a smart phone
    or any cell phone.

    My cell phone charges units for each text received.
    This means I get charged each time I access the web site. Why did they not do more research ?

    Double authentication can
    be accomplished in better ways.

    Please change this policy.

  90. The lobbyist controls Congress. The cell phone companies have invested a lot of money. This is their payoff.

    Look at how much Hillary Clinton’s campaign got from pharmaceutical companies. Congress didn’t support funding to find a cure for the ZIKA virus. Now the ZIKA virus mysteriously made it’s way to the US.

    These lobbyist have a plan for everything.

    They are borrowing our Social Security money to give to the pork barrel spending and they can’t even give us a COLA raise.

  91. I called the SSA to address this concern about cellphones for my Mom and Dad, who don’t have cell phones. I asked if my cell phone can be used to get them their codes and was told “No, each of them needs a cell phone of their own”. This seemed ridiculous to me and I asked to get a number where I can lodge my official complaint. The man was VERY rude to me, he told to me to call my Congressman if I am dissatisfied with this rule. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he told me no, I cannot speak to his supervisor and then hung up on me. HE HUNG UP ON ME !!! How do you employ such people who are rude and act in unprofessional ways? My tax dollars are paying for that rude man’s paycheck. His name was Bill and my call was taken between 9:30 and 10am today EST. I would like to know where I can lodge a formal complaint both about this onerous cellphone requirement AND about the rudeness of the SSA employee.

    • We are very sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience and we understand your frustration. To submit feedback, visit our Contact Social Security page, then 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. Thanks.

  92. which cell phone provider is profiting from this BAD IDEA.
    i use a basic cell phone for emergencies, not as a second phone. Text features would have me update my BASIC phone and add text services. NO THANK YOU. NO COLA and you want us to shell out more money to see if our payments are correct or to request a benefit letter???

  93. My husband and I have Virgin Mobile and Verizon cell phones with texting capability, and we can’t receive the SSA text messages! We are locked out of our accounts.

    SSA did not work out the bugs with this new system before launching it. It does not work. It reminds me of the government healthcare website launch that was riddled with problems.

    • Hi Marysue, if you still having troubles, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Thanks!

  94. The texting requirement is a terrible idea that will hurt the people who are most dependent on Social Security. Which bumbling, clueless bureaucrat conjured up this ridiculous requirement? Banks and financial institutions allow customers to verify their identity through email, phone numbers or texting. Why can’t the SSA do this?

  95. Certain constraints prohibit other than the text message option. Thanks guys , we seniors really appreciate how you work to accommodate ALL SS recipients

  96. This is insane. I plan to complain to my elected representatives. Maybe if enough people complain they’ll do something about it.

  97. I have a CD in a bank that since I don’t mark my PC as my own, but as public, they phone my home phone and I get a robot telling me the code I need to enter to get into my account. This should basically cost them nothing to start, and have everyone covered.

  98. I also do not have a cell phone with text messaging activated. This requirement discriminates against older persons who do not use that technology and do not want to pay for it. Whoever came up with this solution does not consider what works for older social security recipients. My financial institutions allow a code to be received by a telephone call, an e-mail or a text message. This is proven technology and would have been a much SMARTER solution. Why could Social Security not think of that obvious solution?

  99. An outrageous cockamamie idea probably hatched by some thirty year old bureaucrat who has not a clue how this idiotic procedure will impact SENIORS! Hey, guys, where have you been? Do you realize seniors with crooked thumbs, who are not capable to text, let alone handle a cell phones can NOT comply with your idiocy? Wow, SS, just one more black eye on your agency and the Obama administration!!!!

  100. SSA’s implementation of 2FA is still pretty poor. After the initial login when they now ask for your cell number, on subsequent logins they present that number (last 4 digits), but then offer you a chance to provide a different number to replace the one they have for you. This is no security at all. If your userid/password has not been compromised, their 2FA offers no additional security. If your userid/password has been compromised, letting the bad guy substitute his number for yours makes their 2FA worthless.
    A 2FA like Google Authenticator which does not require the transmission of data is a much better solution than text messaging.
    But, regardless of the method used, the most important detail is verification that the initial set up is done with the person authorized to the SSA account.

  101. Apparently the government, who claims to understand the financial situation of us common people that don’t live in DC and work for them, doesn’t get the fact, or care, that all of us don’t have or want cell service and text. Maybe they should provide us all with one along with the service. The last time I checked it was 5% or more of my SSA benefit per month depending on the service I would use. Oh, and it’s not available at home.

  102. I have numerous sites I use that are secure that do not require texting. One of my banks will call me on my home phone and speak a code to me. Another will send me an email that contains the code. To require texting is crazy and you are bringing this senior rage upon yourself by not thinking this through.

  103. How about all those seniors with low vision issues, really you are going to require them to use a cell phone sized screen to try and read a TEXT!! The directive said make it more secure not shut a portion of your customers out of this service!!!

  104. My account is now safe from me because I do not have text. Pretty sure it isn’t much safer from hacker tho. Soc sec Office may get tired of seeing us to check our acct . when we retire and when we move

  105. This vicious act was done intentionally by mean-spirited, arrogant millennials who hate seniors. Its is actually a form of age discrimination forbidden by federal law.

  106. I can see a common idea here, everyone does not have a text enabled cell phone. We are retired and on limited incomes. Seems to me sending a code in the mail (everyone has a mail box) with a 10 day limit, sending it by phone (my bank does that) or sending the code via email (best idea in my view, my IRA institution does that) would have been a good start. Take a lesson from the banks and other financial institutions it is not that hard. If I was 25 years old and used my phone for everything this update might work well. Come on SS get out of your glass tower and look at who you serve and develop good sense policy that everyone can use.

  107. I don’t have a cell phone. Now I have to go get one????? All my banks use a land line to confirm identity. Why can’t you?

  108. If you have a look at Executive Order 13681 that Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist refers to, you may notice that the order does not say to eliminate the ability of the agencies clients access to their accounts but to make them secure. Come on SS fix this. And, Ray kick these blogs up to those in charge. There is nothing right about not allowing people access to their account.

  109. Stupid idea. Now you have disenfranchised probably 50% of seniors on social security. My husband and I both have cellphones but service does not work in our area. Really, this move should be illegal. I am calling my congresswomen to complain.

  110. I am 67 years old and do not own a cell phone. I haven’t had the need for one in any of those 67 years. I have a home phone that I use maybe 20 times a year to make calls, mostly it is just there to be able to get internet service. I cannot justify the expense of a cell phone with text capability just to be able to use the Social Security website. With this new requirement I will now have to travel to the nearest Social Security Office to conduct any business. As far as I am concerned they may as well shut down the Social Security Website to save some taxpayer dollars as the site is now completely useless to me and many more others in the same situation.

    • Thanks for your comment Mr. Olsen. We encourage our customers who will not be able to access their personal my Social Security account without a cell phone to visit our website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact to learn about other ways to contact us to access their benefits information.

      • Mr. Fernandez: Please stop providing a web page link “to learn about other ways to contact us.” The statement is disingenuous, at the very least, and misleading, as none of the choices (calling to speak to a rep, sending an email or a letter or visiting an office) are acceptable alternatives to being locked out of one’s account.

        • I wonder if “Ray Fernandez” is just a robot that sends the standard response #57 to all questions regarding the new texting requirement.

          As to the “other ways of contacting”, for most of us they are so time-consuming or ineffective that I begin to wonder: perhaps the SSA staff think that if they just hold us off long enough, we non-texting-geezers will die off — problem solved!

          • Hello Die Alte Geiser, you’ll be glad to know that we removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  111. I have my own executive order…I will not give the government my cell phone number. Sorry, the government has proven over and over again they are not responsible enough to entrust this information nor do I trust the government with future uses of said information. Sorry but you’ll have to figure out another way to make the information more secure…maybe there’s an unused email server sitting in a basement somewhere that’s secure enough to house national security interests. That would be more convenient.

  112. When my government employment records were hacked last year, I was provided a free service to monitor my credit reports. It requires a special code that is sent to my email address. I have 10 minutes in which to retrieve and use the code. This system works and does not require me to have to purchase a cell phone and cell phone service for which I do not have the money on the little bit of Social Security that I receive with no other income. This new idea is a horrible idea for senior citizens who have enough to deal with without being prevented from online access to mySocialSecurity. Please rethink this.

  113. There has to be a better way! This is just not feasible for everyone. Another stupid bureaucratic idea. Remember we are old and don’t even understand this “extra layer of security”. Think people think!

  114. I have a cell phone, but no texting plan. In my home, where I would be checking my account on my home computer, I cannot receive cell service. This new policy is ridiculous, especially since my social security annual statement is no longer mailed to me.

  115. I made a conscious decision not to use texting because of the 20 dollar monthly fee years ago. I use email similar to texting. so now they want to force me to pay the 20 dollars monthly(240 dollars annually) just to access my social security account. I’m a bit angry.

  116. Expecting seniors to pay $100+ per year for a burner mobile phone in order to access mysocialsecurity online is beyond the pale. People will stop using the online site and go back to requesting paper mailings and conducting in-person visits to the field offices. Maybe that’s the objective of the humans running this program.

    Cannot imagine what happens when your mobile phone dies and the new one has a different telephone number. I foresee lots and lots of problems.

    Frankly, as we grow older our ability to use technology will decrease, not increase. The more complex the task, the less likely a senior will be able to complete it. Many seniors stick with landlines only for safety (landlines continue to work even when the power goes out) and because its easier to hear the conversation. No texting on landlines.

    Probably best just to put a permanent electronic block on your social security number and then it will be safe from everyone, including you.

    BTW… Treasury uses dual authentication and its all done online using their website and your email. There were lots of implementation problems there too. The email houses classified their code messages as junk and delivery was too slow to be usable. Who could wait around 20 minutes for the emailed code to arrive before getting into their account?!?

    Good Luck. Technology is increasingly becoming the problem, not the solution.

  117. What a terrible idea! I have a dinosaur cell and do not text. So my “more secure” option would be to give you MY SON’S CELL # AND HAVE HIM CALL ME TO GIVE ME THE CODE??!? Or drive to a Social Security Office?? What stunningly poor customer service. Imagine a business whose business model decided to serve only “a majority” of consumers? Discrimination, no?

  118. I would like to add my comments, even if not unique to what’s been already said, to all the previous ones, just to register my “vote,” so to speak, against this new security measure implementation.

    1) I don’t use a cell phone except for emergencies, and I do not text.
    2) I have an email address that can be used instead of a cell phone number, and is my preferred authentication method.

    Item 2 above is, in fact, the authentication method used by many businesses/agencies, including my credit union. If other companies/agencies can use this method, then the SSA should ALSO be able to use it. THE TECHNOLOGY EXISTS! Further, Item 2 above is a global method that can be used ANYWHERE I might be, with computer and Internet access.

  119. I attempted to log in to my account and waited for a text which never arrived. I finally gave up trying to get in. Honestly, who came up with this idea? Two factor authentication can be accomplished by having to answer a security question each time – annoying but effective. I don’t have the limitation of not having a smartphone, but this is a poorly designed effort by any measure.

  120. You have violated my right to due process and discriminated against me because of my inability to afford a phone. Even if I had such a device I wouldn’t be able to see the tiny screen. Why can’t a PIN code be verified via email instead? That would at least ensure equal access since libraries have computers with internet access, but not so with phones. It is plain discrimination to those who can’t afford such luxuries that won’t be used for any other purpose.

    So now to get my report I will have to buy a $10 disposable phone, get the code, then get a neighbor to read the code to me since I can’t see it, and it will then cost me $10 each and every time I choose to get my report.

    Good job making some of the most vulnerable in society even more vulnerable.

  121. I just want to add my comment. I do not have a cell phone, and I am almost 65 years old. Why should I have to spend the money to buy a cell phone and pay for cell service just to access my account? Social Security is supposed to serve people in their 60s and older primarily, yet those are the people who are least likely to have cell phones capable of receiving text messages.
    This is one of the most insensitive and stupid policy decisions that I have ever seen a federal agency make.
    I have complained to my Senators and congresswoman about this, but I hope SSA will be able to develop other means of authentication (such as email and landline) for sending codes.

  122. This is an unreasonable requirement. I do not have a personal cell phone with text capability and should not be required to get one to access my personal information in a reasonable way for the 21st century. Calling to get the information is not a reasonable alternative – I wouldn’t even know what types of questions to ask if I hadn’t used the online account in the past.
    There ARE reasonable alternatives. The code could have been sent to a user-provided e-mail address. That two-factor-authentication method is used by at least one bank with whom I do business. It’s annoying, but it’s better than not having online access to my account. E-mail addresses are free. Text-enabled cell phones are not.
    Also, I should not be required to provide a telephone number to the federal government for them to link it to my social security account. My telephone number is none of their business.

    More incompetence from the federal government.

  123. You know if SSA provided e-mail as an alternative to a text message, they would probably still ask every time if your e-mail of record is still valid, and give you a chance to provide a new one. No security there.

    This whole thing is about checking off a box for compliance to the executive order and calling it done. If you want to build a bridge you have to first do an environmental impact study. Where’s the SSA customer impact study for this turkey? It was, gee we have 2FA optional already, just make it mandatory and check the box. They’ve lost sight of who their customers are.

  124. I have a MySocialSecurity account, but I rarely access it. I don’t really have any need to. I do have a cell phone and I can text but I’m not going to jump through these extra hoops to access my information. Why not do what my credit union does and require everyone who calls your office about their MSS account to place a ‘secret word/phrase’ that must be given to the CSR upon starting the call. If the caller (me) can’t provide that information, then the CSR (you) won’t give me any information. Easy Peesy. Yes, I have to call you now if I want info on my account, but that’s what your staff is there for anyway. The on-line service is to relieve some of their work load because of the number of people receiving SS benefits or soon to begin. It just seems like an easy and secure alternative to a stupid text code when so many people don’t have the ability to receive a text message or want to be bothered with that extra layer of so-called account security. But, that’s just me, I guess.

  125. If other forms of multi-factor authentication cannot be addressed at this time, then you need to go back to single authentication until you can figure out how to do other forms. Or at least make this optional.

    • Text code was optional before SSA unilaterally decided with no open comment period or feedback and little to no notice to make it mandatory, thus blocking millions from their own online accounts. I didn’t receive any notice until after it was in effect.

  126. This is RIDICULOUS. I don’t have a cell phone. If the government requires me to have a cell phone to access my SSA account then they should pay for it.

  127. In numerous replies here, the SSA representative wrote in this boilerplate answer:

    “We are limited to text messages for the initial multifactor authentication (MFA) implementation due to technical and resource constraints. ”

    “Technical and resource constraints” — do these constrained resources include competence and ability to plan?

    Furthermore, SSA says “We may consider adding additional options in the future.”

    Pardon me, this is not something for you to do at your pleasure. You should have considered several options that are routinely used by banks and utility companies for MFA, BEFORE attempting to force your current plan on everyone.

    • I agree. SSA should have held an open comments period to receive feedback from the major stakeholders before unilaterally making this very poor decision with minimal notice before blocking millions of Social Security recipients from their own online accounts. The vast majority of seniors on SS have never texted in their lives. Most don’t even own smart phones, though they probably do have basic dumb cell phones.

  128. I’ve had a “my Social Security” account for a long time, which SSA urges everyone to sign up for, to “go green” and to use the special advantages of the online service. There is NO CELL SIGNAL where I live. So you have effectively booted me out of the system, and unjustly so for several reasons. For example: now that I have a “my Social Security” account that I cannot access, apparently I no longer have access to statements except by voice phone request, since your TOS says, “When you create a my Social Security account, you will no longer receive a paper Social Security Statement in the mail.” So you have stated plainly that I will no longer get a statement, but the TOS says you’ll send me notice that there’s one available online, that I can’t get to anymore. The things you brag about being available online that are not available otherwise, are now denied me, after I signed up at your constant urging. About your “other contact options:” when I called SSA after receiving the notice that I was dumped, I spent an hour on the phone, 55 minutes of it on hold, then got dropped. Everybody knows this is not an uncommon experience with all sorts of “phone support” services, government and otherwise. So much for phone contact. As for postal mail or email, concerned as you are about security, I’m sure you would not advise anyone sending their social security number and other identifying information that way, which would be necessary to make any inquiry about my Social Security account. So the “other contact” methods you’ve left me with are not reasonable alternatives to the online service you took away from me and countless others in this unjustly rejected minority living outside your “overwhelming majority of American adults,” as if minorities don’t matter in this country, and as if the government is allowed to deny them service provided to the majority. By the way, a code sent to a cell phone does not prove one’s identity, only that they are in possession of SOMEBODY’S cell phone that they said was theirs. Your TOS does not say I have to own the cell phone or its number (which many people don’t or can’t, but could use another person’s phone to comply with your demand for one. What if someone else’s cell phone is the only one available to a subscriber? Do you run checks to find out whose cell phone number users give you, to confirm it belongs to the subscriber? Your TOS says, “We use the information you give us to verify your identity against our records. We also use an external Identity Services Provider to verify your information against their records.” So, do you attempt to verify who owns the cell phone number? That would be silly, right,l since many people legitimately use phones not registered in their names. So it’s silly to require this form of authentication, because it does not identify a person, just a device. I’ve submitted inquiries to congressional authorities regarding the possibility that you have also gone astray of the Rehabilitation Act by potentially denying access to people unable to use cell phones … unless you want to pay for all such current and future subscribers to get cell phone assistive devices.

  129. Not a well thought out plan with very little warning, blocking millions of Social Security recipients from accessing their own online SS account. The vast majority of seniors on Social Security have never texted in their life. Many on fixed income don’t own smart phones, though they probably have basic less-expensive cell phones. Others live in areas with limited cell phone reception, or outside the U.S., or have health or financial issues that prevent them from owning or using cell phones. Others simply don’t want to give out their cell phone numbers for privacy or security reasons. I get enough email spam without inviting cell phone spam. Before, text verification was merely an opt-in choice. Now it is mandatory if you want to use your own SS online account. Most of those posting on the Social Security Administration Facebook page are complaining bitterly about it both to SSA and their Congressmen. Feel free to do the same.

  130. “Our research shows that an overwhelming majority of American adults have cell phones and use them for texting”. Yes, but not among people to whom accessing their SS accounts is of most interest.
    According to ThePew Research Center, only 27% of people 65 and up have smartphones. Just 54% of those age 50 to 64 do. So you are subjecting that portion of the population to access requirements who are least likely to be able to accommodate them, but to whom that access is probably more important than to any other age group. Government smarts at work Well done.

    • Did SSA conduct their “research” by sending survey questions as text-messages to SS account holders?

      That methodology would certainly explain the biased finding of “overwhelming majority of … have cell phones”, just as a survey conducted using a Web site only covers respondents with Web access!

  131. I don’t need to add to the previous comments that have highlighted how exclusionary this policy it. But in regard to their offer that there are other means available for contacting the agency, lets think this through. Why were on-line services provided and encouraged to begin with. I would assume to reduce costs and reduce the staff workload among others. So instead they are going to force more people to use emails which must (one would hope) get replied, make phone calls (and suffer what are already long wait times) and request office appointments. In turn the government will become less efficient, more costly and those individuals they are suppose to serve will get worse service because they can’t or won’t pay for what they are entitled to.

  132. This was a HORRIBLE idea. I very seldom use a cell phone and may not even have it with me when I need to log in. I think this should be OPTIONAL – let the people who are that concerned use this method and leave the rest of us alone.

    Also, TOO MANY PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE CELL PHONES OR CAN TEXT, or it costs money to text. This is VERY BURDENSOME and is not necessary.

    I can see that I will not be using this account very much and will be relying on the telephone WAY more often — prepare to hire lots of new staff for those like me.

  133. “If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will not be able to access your my Social Security account.”

    The best example of wholly unacceptable (government) service.

    Hello Social Security, how about approaching the Executive Order like this:

    We must improve security, we offer you 3 choices. 1) two-part authentication via your cell phone (if you have one that accepts text) or 2) We will call your home landline phone and provide your passcode or 3) we can mail it to your address on file, note takes longer.

    Every financial institution I have a relationship gives you OPTIONS but SSA, you just slammed the door closed with very little notice and ZERO options.

    Please provide us options BEFORE eliminating access!

    I support improving security, but not in this fashion (forced) and it is really hard to understand how a group of adults proposed and supported rolling out this improvement utilizing this method.

    Sad and someone needs to be held accountable.

  134. The saddest part of this situation is the utterly disregard and lack of consideration for “The other”, as the elderly who is not techno-pro efficient, the poor who can not afford the cost, the disable who can’t handle one more hurdle, in the end all the people that they are suppose to serve, but they chose to hurt instead.

  135. Unbelievable! As American citizens living abroad, we can’t access our accounts because our cellphone numbers are more than 10 digits long. When I complained via e-mail, I received a form letter saying I should contact my state representative or senator (!), because SSA did not “mandate” the change. What bull! The SSA’s own Organizational Manual clearly states that the SSA is responsible for handling all online systems. Typical bureaucratic buck-passing. How difficult would it have been to create a field that accepts more than 10 digits? Or a country code? Not difficult at all! And of course, any citizen without a cellphone should have another way to authenticate.

  136. Phone companies have found another way to force you to get cell phones like or not, by simply teaming up with SSA…Has nothing to do with security..

  137. Phone companies have found another way to force you to get cell phone like it or no, by simply teaming up with SSA, has nothing to do with security..

  138. No matter how hard you try to make the SOCIALIST SECURITY SYSTEM more secure, the FRAUD comes from within. The FRAUD is written into the rules, like being physically disabled, marrying an “able bodied person” and loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because you married an “able bodied person”.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

  139. “DITTO” for everyone that has stated “who did think this through” Again, how can the govt “require” you required to have a cell to receive your “OWN” information – Giving your cell# to the govt – you might as well put it on the 6:00 news telemarketers are sitting in wait for these list

  140. I contacted SSA directly about this. Here is the response I got:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thank you for contacting the Social Security Administration.
    We apologize for the delay in answering your inquiry. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

    The Social Security Administration administers the Social Security programs. However, Congress develops and passes the Social Security Act, provisions, and amendments governing the programs.

    Only Congress has the ability to change the laws that govern Social Security. Therefore, we recommend that you relay your concerns to your congressional representative for consideration.

    Constituents may identify and/or contact their elected members of Congress at the following Internet sites:

    U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov

    U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov

    Social Security also has a Web page with current information on enacted legislation that affects Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income at the following Internet address:

    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/legislation
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Real helpful, right?
    Here is my response back to them:
    ——————————————————–
    Thanks for your response.

    So you’re telling me/us that congress decided to block people’s use of SSA’s MySocialSecurity website unless they can receive an authorization code by text only? I don’t believe that. This is an inappropriate answer regarding this issue. Please properly address peoples’ very valid concern with this problem which is not about passing a law in congress, but rather a poorly implemented procedure by SSA for their own website access.

    Does SSA NOT want people to use their website? Does SSA want to have people calling to get paper statements again instead of accessing them online? That process is definitely a few steps backward. But that is exactly what people will have to do if this simple adjustment to the authorization code receipt method is not updated to include options other than text only.

    This doesn’t have to be difficult, banks and other businesses and institutions all over this nation have seamlessly implemented increased security measures exactly like this, why can’t you? Don’t you have competent IT professionals that can address this problem efficiently? Simply adjust the issue within your own procedures for your website by allowing alternative means of receiving an authorization code (email, phone), don’t tell people to contact their congressperson! How ridiculous!

    Can’t someone at SSA just take responsibility of making this minor adjustment to procedures and fix this? Any number of IT people have the ability to do this, it’s not rocket science, just a bit of computer science.

  141. Shame on SS. What about people who do not have cell phones. Some retired people cannot afford them. SS needs to add an alternative and just as soon as the cell phone number is required. I give my number to no one and have pay as you go. I carry it in case my car brakes down. Cell phones can get hacked too!!

  142. Is this the first step of the US Government(our elected officials lol) tying to get rid of social security? The texting cell phone trick is to prevent citizens from accessing their accounts so you won’t know what’s happening to them. Wake up people it’s the government pulling the wool over our eyes again. If you don’t know what that means you deserve what you get. But for the rest of us remember YOU VOTE COUNTS and not just for President.

  143. FYI – the “other ways” to contact social security is: by phone, visit an office, write a letter or BY E-MAIL. If we can contact SS by e-mail then why can’t this “code” be sent to our e-mail? If we already have a computer, an on-line SS account and an e-mail address which already receives e-mail msgs from SS, then why can’t the code be sent by e-mail?

  144. I PRESUME there “study” looked at adults OVER 65 that use texting ??? DUH! I don’t want to pay for texting. And their “security” uses the same thing Facebook wants. How secure is that?

  145. Most ridiculous thing I have seen in awhile.

    So I am on a limited budget yet you want me to have a cell phone and pay the extra for texting so I can log into my online account once in awhile!

    Your NUTS and goes to prove how stupid the government is.

    • Hello Glenn: We apologize for any inconvenience and have heard your feedback. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. Please continue to take advantage of your mySocial Security account without any restrictions.

  146. > Egregious SSA account access Requirement:
    > I recently received an email from the SSA indicating that I must have a cell phone with texting service to access my SSA account.
    > I had been able to contact them very easily through email for years. I do not DO texting, nor do I want to: it is too much for the average citizen to be required to follow this procedure. Below is the text of an article in the Spartanburg Herald:
    > The Social Security Administration has created a potentially huge but avoidable problem for millions of account holders in an overzealous attempt to fight computer hackers.
    > As of this month, online users have been required to own a cellphone, register that number and obtain a text-messaged security code for use when accessing the Social Security website. The rationale for tighter security is understandable. Identity theft typically involves stealing a person’s Social Security number. A two-step authentication system, involving separate electronic devices, helps fend off computer hackers.
    > Verizon recently reported that its texting system was overwhelmed by the volume of people trying to get security codes.
    > Then there are the millions of 65-and-over retirees who don’t own cellphones. They’re part of the population segment most likely to need Social Security account access, but according to Pew Research, only 25 percent of them own smartphones. Right now, they’re shut out.
    > Cheryl Harris says she’s flummoxed. “Seniors have enough problems paying for health care and insurance without having to pay for cellphones,” the reader wrote to the Post-Dispatch last week. “This policy defeats the purpose of having easy access to SSA or having it online at all. … We worked our entire lives paying into SSA, and our employers paid double during that time. Now we cannot access our accounts because we do not have cellphones. … Now the federal government is requiring you to have a cellphone to have a SSA account. If that is the case, then it should supply every senior or other person who cannot afford cellphones a phone.”
    > Since writing you yesterday about this matter I have found that even though I have a smart phone with data access, it does not include texting and cost us only $100 each a year. It would cost me and my wife $360 each per year to have the texting ability required by the EXECUTIVE ORDER driven SSA requirement. I have further found out that the statistic cited in the Herald article is misleading, it is correct in so far as how many over 65 use TEXTING vs having a cell phone: look it up. This is an egregious requirement for seniors in a nation that has paid $1 TRILLION to protect us from terror, but not a cent to protect us from the EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT.

    • You spoke, we listened. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI.

    • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your my Social Security account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  147. I haven’t been able to log in, so have completed the steps necessary to reset my password. The verification code via text has not been received and the phone number listed is correct. (4 attempts so far since yesterday)
    What’s my next step?

    • Hi John, we removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your my Social Security account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. If you still experience difficulties logging in to your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” and one of our representatives will assist you. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  148. I just need my password reset.
    I tried several times.
    I called the 1-800 number. Password help is not on the robot-controlled help desk clerk.
    I was told to wait 55 minutes.
    I received two emails, but the passwords DO NOT work.
    How can a person get password help without waiting one hour?

    • Hi Vicky. We are sorry for the long wait, and the difficulties you’re having to reset your password. If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account, and speak wit one of our representatives. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. Thanks.

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