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What is a My Social Security account and how do I sign up?

My Social Security is an online service provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows you to review your earnings history, check current or future benefits, and access many other Social Security services. You will need a valid email address, a U.S. mailing address and your Social Security number to create an account.

To open a My Social Security account:

  1. Go to the My Social Security sign-up page and click on “Create New Account.”
  2. Read the terms of service and tick the box below if you agree to them.
  3. Enter your personal information, including your name as it appears on your Social Security card, your Social Security number, date of birth, home address, email address and a cellphone number, if you have one.
  4. Choose one of three methods to verify your identity:
    •  Take photos of your driver’s license or some other state-issued ID with your smartphone. 
    • Input financial information such as the amount of your Social Security benefit, part of a credit card number, or data from a tax document such as a W-2 or 1040 Schedule SE.
    • Answer questions about your credit history. If you choose this method, you’ll need to temporarily lift any freeze or alert you have on your credit report.
  5. Once your identity is verified, you’ll receive a text message with an activation code that allows you to finish setting up your account.
  6. Create a username and password. 
  7. Choose three security questions to use in resetting your password, in case you forget it. 

Whenever you log in to your account, Social Security will text or email you a onetime code to use to complete verification. The SSA implemented this two-step process in 2017 to guard against unauthorized use and identity theft.

Get your Social Security statement online

Establishing a My Social Security account online is useful even if you’re not yet collecting retirement benefits. When you log in you’ll see your Social Security statement, which lists your annual earnings history and estimates your monthly benefit if you claim it at age 62, your full retirement age or age 70. 

The statement also provides estimates of survivor benefits your spouse and children might get in the event of your death, and of what you are eligible to receive in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if a medical condition forces you to stop working. 

You can also use My Social Security to request a replacement Social Security card (in most states), and when you file a claim for benefits, you can track the status of your application online.

Once your benefits start, you can use your account to:

  • Set up or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.
  • Request a replacement Medicare card
  • Request a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, the tax forms Social Security sends out each January that summarize your benefits for the previous year
  • Opt out of mailed notices from Social Security if the documents are available online
  • Report a change of address or phone number
  • Obtain and print a benefit verification letter, which you can use as proof of income when applying for a loan or mortgage, or for government aid such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or housing vouchers 
  • Report wages if you work and receive SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Check the status of an appeal, including verifying a scheduled hearing date and time

If you are a representative payee managing benefits for someone else, you can use My Social Security to perform some of your duties, including setting up direct deposit for that person’s benefits, viewing messages and alerts they get from Social Security, and submitting accounting reports to SSA if required to do so.

Keep in mind

If you are applying for benefits online, you will be prompted during the process to sign in to your My Social Security account or create one if you have not yet done so. If you don’t complete the application in one sitting, you’ll need to use your account to get a reentry number to return to the saved application at any time.

Updated July 16, 2021

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