Your Friend, my Social Security

Two women look at a tablet and smileEveryone knows the value of a good friend. They give you advice and console you when you’re in need. On August 3, Friendship Day reminded us to acknowledge the people who are closest to us by thanking, loving, and spending quality time with them.

Like a good friend, Social Security’s online services are always there to give you the support you need. Opening a secure my Social Security account is one of the first steps you can take to planning a financially healthy retirement. Simply go online to open or access your account.

With a my Social Security account, you can…

  • Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year
  • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working
  • Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them
  • Manage your benefits
    • Change your address
    • Start or change your direct deposit
    • Get a replacement Medicare card if you are a current Medicare beneficiary
    • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season

Remember, my Social Security is an ever-evolving resource. We continue to research, develop, and add features to better serve you. Our mission is to support you when you need it most. Part of that vital mission is to make it as easy as possible to apply for services when you might be going through hardship. As a friend, we want you to be ready. Join the 20 million people who are making their business with Social Security that much easier with a secure  my Social Security account.

All great friends are good listeners, and Social Security is no different. We’ve collected countless messages from the public to craft our Frequently Asked Questions.  These questions provide solutions to topics you care about like retirement, disability, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income. Through our many online resources, we listen to you so that we can continue to provide the world-class service you deserve.

Next time someone asks you, “Have you ever met a friend online?” You can confidently say, “Yeah… my Social Security.” We are here for you 24 hours a day, and we’re only a computer or tablet screen away. Now that’s a friend you can count on.

 

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72 thoughts on “Your Friend, my Social Security

  1. I’m 72 years old and would like to know what to do, and how to do to not be responsible any more for the 20 % payments on my medical expenses. I do not want to modify my Medicare.

    • Look for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan; AARP offers one. Mine is from a former employer, which now leaves me with 10% of a bill to pay. There are other healthcare insurance companies which offer them.

    • Carlos, visit the Medicare website to learn about programs available to assist people with low income to pay for Medicare expenses. Many states also have programs to help with Medicare payments. You can find out about them by calling your State Medical Assistance Office. To get the local phone number, call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). Thanks!

    • Hi Brenda! The Supplemental Security Income or SSI, is a needs based program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. There are times when people can receive both SSI and Social Security benefits, depending on their situation and whether they meet the requirements.
      The maximum SSI payment for an individual this year is $733.00, and $1,100 for couples. The best way to find out if you qualify for SSI benefits is to apply.
      Please call us at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or contact your local Social Security office.
      You may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. We hope this helps!

  2. Sir;I do have a question if I may.I am getting SSI because I cannot work(due to age and other issues I cannot control)My question is are there other ways to get some help with basic living issues?I have not had huel for cooking or hot water for a few years now,I need some basic repairs to my home.I have not been able to find any one to help r even answer my questions.I get just enough to pay mortgage,tax and water,sewer.After that I am allowed only about 20 dollars a week for all other things I need..Always end up after paying mandatory bills and car cost with 0 for the rest of the month.Can you PLEASE help point in a direction where I may find some help? Starting to lose hope,wonder if it is even worth trying any more.This may be my last hope/try. Thank You for you7r time,( I am sure that you will not even see this letter,no one ever seems too so far)

    • If you haven’t already done so, contact the local office of Aging and Disability Services. This may be either a state or a county office, depending on where you live. They have case management and a case manager should be able to point you in the right direction for getting additional assistance.

    • Hello Mr. Brooke, Individuals receiving SSI benefits may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information.
      We hope this information helps !

    • Hi David, You should get in touch with Social Services, Office on Aging, ask your County Clerks Office, your Township Office and Welfare. I know it’s hard for people who have worked all their lives to ask for help, but remember, you have already paid for any kind of help you can get!! I don’t know where you live but N.J. has programs that help with your gas and electricity also. I know how hard they make it for you to get anything but keep applying. Sometimes they even have programs to help with home repairs. I wish you well and good luck 🍀 Don’t give up 😊

  3. Retired, I benefit from social security, but with an overseas address. As of now, I cannot obtain a mySocialSecurity account because a U.S. address is required when signing up. I do not have a U.S. address. Please amend your system to allow retirees who moved outside the U.S. to go online for contacts, same as other beneficiaries.
    Thank you,

    Fawzi Malouf

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience, Fawzi. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits.

  4. I am 71. I would love to have a my social security account but you won’t let me. I had a problem with ID theft and froze my credit with all 3 bureaus. I can’t afford to leave myself open to more ID theft and you won’t let me sign up with the credit frozen. I have been receiving social security since 2009. I fail to see why you need to check my credit. I’m not borrowing money from you. FYI my credit score is 780 according to my Capital One Credit Card Account.

    • You can unfreeze your credit reports
      for short periods of time(you pick the
      amount of time). Just call each credit
      bureau and give them your password
      and pay a small fee and they will open
      up your accounts. You must then notify the Social Security Administration that the account are open and how long they will be open.
      You might call SS first and see how you can co-ordinate this.

    • We apologize for the inconvenience, but you’re right Mary, you cannot create a my Social Security account online if you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report. You can still create an account without removing the security freeze or fraud alert, but you will have to visit your local Social Security office. Hope this helps!

  5. I am a single mom with a teenage daughter with disabilities that currently received ssi..
    my ex husband is retiring in September this year do I am entitled to 39% of his pension… I am unemployed, have been for 7 years due to my own health issues and being my daughter’s sole caretaker.. I am in fear that I may lose her ssi because I am showing an income, her ssi is based on my income. . Why? ?
    we cannot live on $15,000 a year..
    I am stressing over this thought every day, I will not even be able to pay my rent or anything, I’ve been denied ssi 5 times in the last 4 years, what can I do?

    • Hi Cathy! The Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, requires that we consider some of your income and resources to be available to your daughter. We also take into consideration her living arrangements. These factors may affect whether your daughter can continue receiving SSI benefits and how much. The process of determining how much of your income and resources we will count is called “deeming“.
      You have to file for divorced spouse benefits when you become eligible Cathy, but it’s still possible that your daughter can continue to receive her SSI benefits after we conduct a “Redetermination”. We hope this information helps.

  6. I am on disability, and my Medicare Pay 80% and I don’t have any other help to pay the other 20%. I am on Kidney Dialysis, Please I need your help. Thanks.

  7. For those of you who are asking about the 20% not covered under Medicare, you should look into a Medicare Supplement policy (Medigap). Although there is a premium for these plans, it covers the deductibles and co-pays that Medicare has so you end up with 100% coverage. All major carriers offer them (BCBS, AARP for example). My mother has an HMO type policy with Humana which coordinates with Medicare and is much less expensive. Hope this helps.

  8. I have no complaints….. Just wanted to thank you
    for sending my SS Ck. each month… I now have
    deminitia so I forget a lot but still try to use the
    computer to help keep my mind working…

    Again, thanks for taking care of me

    • Thank you Edith for using our blog to share your thoughts! We’re pleased we can help. We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come.

  9. I retired from the US Army in Jan 1974 and currently receiving retired pay.. In June 1975 I started working for the US Postal Service. In 1999 when I turned 70 years of age I started receiving Social Security payments. How will my SSA benefits be affected when I retire from the US Postal Service.

    • Wow Norman, you’ve kept busy! Thank you for your many years of service in the military and as a civilian in the U. S. Postal Service. Your Social Security benefit can be reduced if your pension from the Postal Service is based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, the Civil Service Annuity Program). See Windfall Elimination Provision.
      If this is the case, and to prevent any overpayments in your Social Security records, we suggest you notify us immediately upon retirement.
      Hope this information helps!

    • Just to add a comadment. We have to put it into prospecadtive dirocve is a civil suit. Judge do not care where the money comes are go they just enforce the process of judiadcial law. Also they have to serve a term if elected so they are allowed to be bias to save their job. They only conadcern in self preseradvaadtion the job of lookading good to get elected next term. They do not care if you serve your counadtry honadoradable, they just want for you to pay into their state fund. The more money the betadter, Jesus put on the cross. You are put out dry, because greed and power corru.…2012 has nothading on this judiadcial sysadtem. Blind jusadtice does not exist only jusadtices that proadmote domesadtic vioadlence and dysadfuncadtional famadily in the name of justice.

  10. I am glad I get social security, but I am also glad I get a private pension because social security isn’t enough to make it these days. I get $1592 from social security minus the $104, so that leaves me a mere $1488 a month. If not for the $1379 from my other pension we would be out on the street most likely. That’s $34,000 clear a year, but we still have to budget to make it.

  11. I served 45 years in serving the United States and now am getting messed over by the United States. I served 25 years in the military and 20 years in civil service. I have ran into 2 very bad situations I do not think is right. After serving and paying Social Security over those 45 years the Social Security rules say unless my wife is a United States Citizen she cannot claim from my Social Security. I think I earned it and my wife should be able to claim it when she turns 65.There are others that have not served and wives have not worked at all and are allowed to draw on their husbands Social Security. Would you please help me with this?

    My second request I am requesting help with is my wife will be able to claim the military SBP but the draw back is Social Security will take out 30% tax on it. I think that is a big exuberant, don’t you.

    Thank you very much for any help you can give me!!

    David Knutson

    E:MAIL: toyotamr2gt@hotmail.com

    • David, thank you for your service to our country as a service member and civil servant. If you qualify for Social Security benefits, your wife may be able to get benefits on your record — see “Benefits For Your Spouse” for eligibility information. She would also have to meet the requirements for non-citizens living in the United States. If you have specific questions, please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Or, you can contact your local Social Security office. For information about the Survivor Benefit Plan or SBP, please contact the Department of Defense.

    • att jag surar om dom inte fattat det redan. För att skämma bort mig själv bakar jag lite &#22e1;oppsi2s≵ och slänger in lite bullar till dom andra. Plötsligt känner jag att Sambon stÃ¥r bakom

    • If they didn’t go for the fraudulent people you and I would most likely get a whole lot less than we receive now. The fraud units save our states and federal government agencies actually save us from loosing even more money. Word of mouth with people like those gets out and we would loose far more.

      • cAN i FILE A CLAIM FOR MYY EX’S RETIREMENT PAY OR DO i HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE COURTS WHO GRANTED MY DIVORCE. oR CAN i USE ANY STATES COURTS.I WAS MARRIED FOR 20 YEARS TO A MAN WHO ABUSED ME JUST PRIOR TO OUR DIVORCE AND TOLD ME THAT IF HE LOST MY RETIREMENT I WOULD GET NOTHING.THE ALABAMA JUDGE LISTED IT AS ALIMONYDUEE TO ALABAMA LAW I LOST IT IN 1006 BECAUSE i used a po boxas my mailading address and my ficnae used the same po box. It was a very small town with limadited po boxes so i had no choicei am now legally blind.…..how do i get his retireadments pay. He hit me in the face with a wall phone as he was leavading. He didn’t even tell me he was leavading thea0area.please help ‚e////I worked very litadtle while a miladiadtary wife and am entiadtled to half of his retirement.

        • Hello Kira, according to our rules, at age 62, an individual may be eligible for Divorced Spouse Benefits if he or she was legally married to the worker for at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final. We hope this information helps.

  12. I wanna know why some people get more than me.im on disability and Ssi…i only get 458.00 a mth…i do get less to about 200 a mth in child support….i don’t think its fair that I get less because of my child support for a child who turns 18 next yr…also would like to know why they keep denying her and she has mental issues and chronic asthma…..im thankful for what little I get but still unfair so many others get more…..i do pay bills etc too….

    • Hello Tammy. The amount an individual can receive for his or her disability benefit depends on the amount on their average lifetime earnings. State laws determine a valid garnishment order, and we can withhold Social Security benefits to enforce your legal obligation to pay child support, alimony or restitution.
      The Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a needs based disability program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources. We take into consideration any income and resources available to you when we establish your monthly (SSI) benefit amount, this is a reason why some beneficiaries receive more or less than others. We hope this explanation helps.

  13. get the corrupt people and corrupt government out of the SSA and do everything in your authority to regain the funds from the government and stop the blatant fraud of giving illegal aliens SSA & SSI & medicare & medicaid, they don’t deserve what other people have paid while they paid not one red cent.

  14. I Would to know Two People Getting Married one on ssa and one on ssi what will be the loss of either one’s income if any

    • Good question Elmer. For the person receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, marriage does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For the person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), getting married may affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income available to him or her and the spouse. See “If I get married, will it affect my benefits” for more information.

  15. I began getting Social security funds in 2002. I continue to work, in fact I never stopped working even though part time. Is my social security money increased because I am still working?

    • Hi Vinette, the benefit amount that you’re receiving, is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. Still, each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase their monthly benefit amounts. We hope this information helps!

  16. I have been paying $200.00 to the Govt. for the past 8 years out of my SS benefits for a past over earnings. I was wondering is it possible to cease these payments as they continually cause a hardship on my family. Every month is scramble to pay bills. I would appreciate some help on this matter. I beliee the original sum owed was 20k.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Donato

    • We wish we could be more help Robert, but for security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Your local office will be able to assist you in your request to stop collection or consider a lesser withholding amount from your benefits. For more information and to learn about appeals and waiver rights, read our publication on “Overpayments“.
      If you still have questions, or need further assistance, you should call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

      • in general the more one puts into ssa the more they get when they retire or become disabled. also isnt it true that if one does retire or become disabled and works but makes less than SGA they can increase their ssa by putting more into the fund through FICA?
        im a business prof and i use this info in the classroom

  17. When I tried to blog the press release regarding the Social Security Matters blog Google news took down the article(s). I mostly wanted to congratulate Social Security Matters on being the best blog since Oprah Winfrey, so to speak. The not so free press blogs now rarely work, and are sometimes ruthlessly guarded. my Social Security account similarly doesn’t work, probably because I’m a beneficiary rather than an income taxpayer, but it really makes these official postings lame. I am planning on soliciting this blog until October by which time Congress, or you, SSA blog posting writer, must officially read and support my Free DIRT and OASDI WILL Acts, or I must unsubscribe from this black hole of meaninglessness, the true meaning of law phobic Timothy’s law that seems to keep the peace at this blog. I regret that if anyone responds to my blog postings I haven’t gone back and read these responses. The reading lag is a couple hundred pages and the most difficult mathematics ever. I am asking for an email if it is not easier for you to magically pass the Free DIRT and OASDI WILL Acts and officially transmit this information to the public. If you are a blogger just look for my email on Hospitals & Asylums website. We really need to pass the Actuary, Commissioner and Trustees (ACT).

    RE: Health and Welfare. 9th Ed. Hospitals & Asylums HA-26-7-15 http://www.title24uscode.org/haw.htm

    • Great question Mary, if you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. If you work and are full retirement age or older, the amount you make at work will not affect your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. Please read our publication “How Work Affects Your Benefits” for more information.

  18. I am 55, my husband is 71. He is currently drawing Social security, I am self-employed. I have worked for many years, but will not draw the amount he is drawing.
    My question is–can I retire early at 62, draw my own benefits, then switch over to his when I reach 67?
    He chose to draw less because of my age when he signed up. Thanks.

  19. Added last line in post missed on first mailing:
    To the SSA blog http://blog.ssa.gov/your-friend-my-social-security/#more-624
    I am married retired, 76 years old, and receiving SS benefits, also am the only one that earned and contributed maximum to the SS and Medicare. I received a letter from my former employer advising my spouse (born in 1951) will no longer be covered by company sponsored health coverage effective February 1-2016. She turns 65 on February 5, 2016 and is Medicare eligible then. Her FRA is 66.
    None of the SSA sites will allow her to sign up on line for Medicare part A, B, at this time (Extend Health, Medicare.gov) or any of the many sites I have visited allow her to proceed to get a Medicare card number/coverage (only if she elects to get SSA benefits at a reduced rate). She does not want to start SS income benefits until FRA . Social security office told her she had to apply over the phone and they would call her on January 5, 2016 to discuss the issue. If it takes 30 days just to get an interview, it is likely her health care will have been dropped before she gets a Medicare card number.
    Please explain why the instructions in your publications when followed are resulting in issues with her sighing up for Medicare coverage unless she answers yes to accepting SS income.

    Please advise what steps I should take to assure my wife gets a Medicare card number so she can obtain health plan coverage (an Advantage plan we selected).

  20. My husband has been collecting social security since he was 62. After a year, when he turned 63, they started taking out $104.90. Many people have told us that this should not be taken out until he turns 65. Is that true?

    • Thank you for your question Agatha. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. However, certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too. Individuals can be eligible for Medicare benefits after they receive disability benefits for 24 months. We start counting the 24 months from the month they were entitled to receive disability, not the month when they received their first check. Could it be possible that your husband is receiving Social Security Disability benefits?
      The monthly amount of the Medicare Part B premiums in 2015 was $104.90. The premium amount for medical insurance in 2016 is $121.80. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this venue. Your husband should contact the local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance and an explanation. Thanks.

    • Hi Barry. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) guidelines require that we consider part of your income and resources to be available to your daughter. We also take into consideration your daughter’s living arrangements. This means that If you get married, we will take into account your spouse’s income and resources when figuring out your daughter’s monthly benefit amount. These factors may affect whether your daughter can continue receiving SSI benefits and how much. The process of determining how much of your income and resources we will count is called “deeming“. Remember that you must contact us to report any changes, it’s still possible that your daughter can continue to receive her SSI benefits after we conduct a “Redetermination”. For further assistance, please contact your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Thanks!

  21. Hello, I am on SSD and have medicare as primary and BCBS as secondary insurance. I have had 5 back surgeries and my left foot is now starting to lean inward and causing pain in my foot all the way into my my lower back. I contacted Medicare to see if they cover the insoles I need and I was told, “unless the insole come with a leg brace then NO they aren’t”. BCBS said the same. REALLY! Why would a larger amount of money have to be spent to include a brace, according to my foot and primary care doctor is something I dont need, just to get the insoles. Now that the insoles are not covered, I have to pay $400.00 to get them myself. Explain Please TY

  22. I am currently in appeal with SS disability. I am 60 years old and haven’t been able to work in 10 years or longer. MY mom was helping me until she passed away 2 years ago. Do I have to wait until I am 61 and 9 months to get my SS or can I get it a year and couple months early. I have NO income. I need help! I just started receiving 300 retirement from my old employer and rent is 500 Please send me in the right direction if I could at least get early SS i would be fine.

    • The earliest age you can apply for reduced retirement benefits is 62. Generally, you will need to have 40 credits, or 10 years of work paying Social Security taxes, to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. You may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where you live, while you await a medical determination. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  23. I am 48 years old. I was awarded social security & medicare due to AIDs. If I choose to get married, will this mess up my benefits?

    • Thank you for your question Richard. If you get Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits and you marry, your benefit will stay the same. Also, keep in mind that there is no family coverage under Medicare. However you should contact them directly. On the other hand, if someone is receiving disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program, getting married may affect their benefits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.

  24. Hello,

    I was receiving SSI and SSDI. Social Security recently cancelled my SSI retroactively back to 2014.

    Can you please tell me how my SSI being retroactively cancelled back to 2014 will affect my prior Medicaid claims as I was receiving extra help?

    Can you please tell me who I can contact for assistance regarding an error in my SSI that has created a significant overpayment for money that I previously reported to SSI? Is there an SSI omnibudsman or advocate that can assist me with this process?

    I have already contacted 800 and local office by phone and mail but did not get the assistance or clarification I was requesting.

    Thank you

    • We wish we could be more help Samantha, but for security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Your local office will be able to assist you better with the overpayment issue. For more information and to learn about appeal and waiver rights, read our publication on “Overpayments“. For information on Medicaid, please contact your State Medicaid agency. Thanks.

  25. Thank you for your response.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding. I thought I was just explaining the basis for my question as others did in the blog not asking for personal advice just seeking program advice.

    I will try to contact SSI again but my local office has not been very helpful. That’s why I wanted to know if there
    was any outside agency help.

  26. Hello. I am a 70 year old disabled veteran now currently being treated for stage 4 cancer at the va hospital. I am married and receiving regular social security. My wife has no income or social security. I’d like to know what or how much social security, if any, that my wife may be entitled to when I pass? She is 58 years of age. Also, would she be entitled to medicare Part A and/or Part B? Besides looking forward to your answers, can you please direct me/us to the site that fully explains what my wife may or may not be entitled to after I pass? Thank You.

    • Thank you for your question John. A widow can start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled). Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. However, certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure. We hope this information helps.

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