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The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers customer service online, by phone and at field offices across the country, which fully reopened April 7 after being largely closed for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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You can conduct most routine business, including applying for benefits and filing appeals, at the Social Security website or by calling the SSA’s national customer service line (800-772-1213).
Getting help online: My Social Security
You can apply for retirement and spousal benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare online through the SSA website (but not for survivor benefits). You can also begin an application for Supplementary Security Income (SSI), but in some circumstances you will have to finish it by phone or in person.
Opening an online My Social Security account gives you 24/7 access to your Social Security statement, which shows your earnings history and estimated future benefit payments. You can also track the status of an application for benefits or pending appeal and request a replacement Social Security card.
My Social Security services expand once you start collecting benefits. Among other things, you can use your account to get copies or request replacements of key documents, including tax forms and official verification of your benefit status; report a change of address to the SSA; and change bank details for direct deposit of your monthly payments.
The AARP Social Security Resource Center has a tutorial on creating a My Social Security account. The SSA’s Online Services page has details on information and assistance you can access anywhere using a computer or mobile device. Many Social Security forms are available online to download and print.
Getting help by phone
If you are unable to use online services or want to speak directly to a Social Security representative, call the SSA’s national customer service number at 800-772-1213 or call your local field office. You can apply for any type of benefit by phone, including survivor benefits and SSI.
The national phone line is staffed by live agents from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time on weekdays except for federal holidays. Outside those hours, you may be able to find what you’re looking for using the SSA’s automated phone service.
Field offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Enter your zip code into the SSA’s field office locator to find the phone number for your nearest facility.