Whether you are retired or still working, the Social Security Administration (SSA) website (www.ssa.gov) offers many resources for managing your Social Security. The most popular resources are highlighted below.
Create a mySocial Security Account
To gain the full benefit of the SSA website, individuals should consider registering for an online mySocial Security account.
To create an account you must be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, a valid e-mail address and a U.S. mailing address. When setting up an account you will also be asked for other personal information to confirm your identity. Within a few days the local SSA office will send you a letter informing you an online account was opened. A mySocial Security account allows you to:
Apply for Benefits
The SSA website offers the convenience of applying for certain benefits online. You can start a new application or return to a saved application. You can also check the status of certain benefit applications. Currently, the SSA website does not allow Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit applications. You can apply online for:
Estimate Future Benefits
The SSA website also provides a Retirement Estimator tool that uses real time earnings history information to project Social Security benefit amounts. The use of this tool requires your name, Social Security number, date & place of birth and mother's maiden name.
This is just a summary of what the SSA website offers. A comprehensive guide to SSA online services can be found at: www.ssa.gov/onlineservices.
Social Security planning can be a complex process involving a multitude of factors. While the SSA website is very useful, it does not replace Social Security planning performed by a qualified professional.