Chris Stein, CFP®
MySocialSecurity Account Trouble
I receive many questions from people having trouble with their MySocialSecurity account; this one was about getting frozen out of their account when trying to set it up online:
I’m trying to create a MySocialSecurity account online so I can request a replacement Social Security card. After trying three times, it is now suspended and I can’t complete the process for an account. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong as I verified the address that I’m using. What else could it be? Do I absolutely have to create an account to get a replacement card without going into a Social Security office?
Setting Up a MySocialSecurity Account Online
To create a MySocialSecurity account online at www.SSA.gov, go to ‘Sign In/Up’ in the upper right-hand corner. On the next screen, you’ll see a block marked ‘my Social Security.’ Clicking that takes you to the instructions to sign in or create an account. If you have trouble with your MySocialSecurity account, it could come from one of the two most common problems.
1. Using the Right Information.
To be sure it is you, the website will ask a series of security questions which they will then verify with the credit reporting agencies. It could be your present or past address, an employer, something you’ve owned or a loan you’ve had. Any mismatch will raise suspicion that you are creating an account in someone else’s name, or claiming to be someone you are not. So, you have to be sure you’re using accurate information.
2. Allowing Access to Your Credit Reports
Because of all the identity theft today, many people freeze their credit reports for protection. If your report is frozen when Social Security queries a credit reporting agency, the verification process will fail because they cannot access information. You will be unable to set up an account.
If neither of those is the problem, you will have to contact Social Security directly to reset your online access. You can try calling Social Security at their general Customer Support at 800-772-1213. (Unfortunately, they will not give you the number to your local office.)
If that fails, you may at least be able to request a replacement card while you are talking to them. If so, they would send the card to your last known address so, if you’ve moved, that might be a problem.
If none of that solves the problem, you will have to go into the Social Security office itself with good identification like a passport, your Social Security card (if you have one) or a driver’s license – the more official your documentation, the better. Face-to-face, you will be able to resolve both your card replacement and account set-up problems.