The Social Security Administration wants to spread the word that you can complete some tasks on its website — and avoid having to call or visit the agency in person, where you’re likely to encounter long wait times and a mountain of frustration.
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The SSA even has a page, found here, devoted to online services that describes everything you can do. It reminds Social Security beneficiaries that the agency is “constantly expanding our online services to give you freedom and control when doing Social Security business.”
These days, you can do everything from applying for retirement benefits to getting a replacement card online. Your first step should be to create a free My Social Security account. Once that’s done, here are five things you may not have known you can do online:
Check your earnings history
You can get your Social Security income statement by using your personal My Social Security account. The statement shows your income history and gives you secure access to estimates for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits that you and your family may be eligible for.
Apply for Medicare benefits
If you are within three months of reaching age 65 or older, but are not yet ready to begin your monthly Social Security benefits, you can use the SSA’s online retirement application to enroll in Medicare only and waiting to later claim retirement or spousal benefits. The process takes less than 10 minutes and does not involve any signed forms or other documentation.
Set or change direct deposit information
One of the newer SSA online services is the ability to set up or change your direct deposit information. If you already receive Social Security benefits and have a bank account, all you need to do is log into your My Social Security account.
Get proof of benefits
If you need proof of your Social Security benefits, you can get a benefits verification letter by logging into my Social Security benefits. The letter serves as proof that you will receive retirement, disability, supplemental security income, or Medicare benefits. You can use it for loans, housing assistance, mortgages and other income verification purposes.
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Objecting to a decision
If the SSA recently rejected your application for retirement benefits, disability benefits, SSI, or a non-medical issue, you can appeal the decision online by downloading the forms here. After you receive notice of the SSA decision, you usually have 60 days to appeal. There are four professional levels:
- Treatment by the administrative court
- Review by the Board of Appeal
- Review by the Federal Court
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