Whether you already receive benefits or you are just starting to think about retirement, it is a great time to open a my Social Security account.

A my Social Security account provides people who use the internet a secure way to do business with us in an easy and convenient way.  It is a free online account that allows you immediate access to your personal Social Security information. Besides being safe, convenient, and secure, it is easy to set up an account, so join the millions who already have one.  Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to get started.

During your working years, you should use my Social Security to check your earnings record. You can also see estimates of future retirement, disability and survivor benefits for you and your family.  If you discover earnings missing from your record, the first thing you should do is find some proof of those earnings, and then, contact Social Security.  The amount of the Social Security benefit you or your family can receive depends on the amount of earnings shown on your record.

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can use my Social Security to check your benefit information, change your address and phone number, change your electronic payment methods, and even obtain a benefit verification letter.   The online benefit verification letter can be used as proof of:

Income for applying for loans or mortgages, housing assistance, or other benefits;
Current Medicare health insurance coverage;
Retirement or disability status; and

We encourage you to take advantage of our online services. You can apply for benefits or get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our programs.  Visit www.socialsecurity.gov.  Our toll free number is also available if you have questions or would like to make an appointment with your local office.  Call us toll free at 1-800-772-1313.

Editor’s Note:  Thanks to Maria Alvarez of the Social Security office for this article.