Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

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tc101
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Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by tc101 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:37 am

I signed up for social security a few weeks ago and got the first payment deposited to my bank account, so I guess everything is working.

I just tried to sign up for "My social security" online but got a message saying: "We cannot create an account for the Social Security number you entered. For further assistance, please contact us."

I called the number they gave me, and after 5 minutes of listening to messages and pushing buttons, I got the the place where they said they could help me get set up and was told I had a 50 minute wait time, so I hung up.

My question - If I am getting SS payments, is there any reason to sign up for "My social security" online?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

jebmke
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 am

if your credit is frozen, that might be the reason you can't create an account. I had to go into the SS office and get a temporary reset PW to activate my account. It didn't take long.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

HomeStretch
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by HomeStretch » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:50 am

Setting up “my social security” online makes sense to me as a fraud deterrent. For example, to prevent someone from setting up a fraudulent account in my name and changing my SS direct deposit instructions online.

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tc101
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by tc101 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:05 am

My credit is frozen, so that is probably the reason I could not set it up. Since my credit is frozen I guess it is not important as a fraud deterrent. Is there any other reason to set it up? What info does it give you and what convenience does it offer?
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JediMisty
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by JediMisty » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:08 am

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 am
if your credit is frozen, that might be the reason you can't create an account. I had to go into the SS office and get a temporary reset PW to activate my account. It didn't take long.
My credit is frozen, too. Since I've flubbed my PW, I was told I need to go to the SS office in person to have it re-set. What ID is required?

Cody6136
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Cody6136 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am

I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.

retiredflyboy
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by retiredflyboy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 am

Yes, it is worth doing!
Facts are stubborn things. Everything works until it doesn’t.

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tc101
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by tc101 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:25 am

I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :
If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.
But if your credit is frozen, they can't do it can they?
Yes, it is worth doing!
Why?
Last edited by tc101 on Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dantes
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Dantes » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:25 am

With an online account you can do things like get a replacement card, change your address, and set up or modify direct deposit. So I believe its worth creating an account just to prevent someone else from fraudulently doing any of those things.

lazydavid
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by lazydavid » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:29 am

HomeStretch wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:50 am
Setting up “my social security” online makes sense to me as a fraud deterrent. For example, to prevent someone from setting up a fraudulent account in my name and changing my SS direct deposit instructions online.
This. I set accounts up for my wife and myself, primarily to prevent other people from helpfully creating them for us. :P

There's a little value in the account itself, as you can see things like your SS/FICA wage history and use that for benefit projections. You kind of have to calculate this yourself though, because their projection assumes that you will continue to make last year's wages exactly from now until ERA/FRA/70. If you're making at/over the limit, it further assumes that the limit will never change.

You can also do stuff like request replacement documents. So mildly useful, but definitely not a major impact, functionality-wise.

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tc101
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by tc101 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:32 am

This web site confirms everything said here.

https://clark.com/personal-finance-cred ... y-account/

If you have a credit freeze you will have to go into an office to get a special code to set it up.

It is a good idea to set it up to stop criminals from accessing it. But in my case, I figure since I have the credit freeze in place I don't have to worry about that.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

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tc101
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by tc101 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am

Here this was discussed previously on Bogleheads

viewtopic.php?t=227515
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jebmke
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:38 am

JediMisty wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:08 am
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 am
if your credit is frozen, that might be the reason you can't create an account. I had to go into the SS office and get a temporary reset PW to activate my account. It didn't take long.
My credit is frozen, too. Since I've flubbed my PW, I was told I need to go to the SS office in person to have it re-set. What ID is required?
I had my SS card and my drivers license.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

mhalley
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by mhalley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:47 am

You can always lift the freeze temporarily and setup the acc. They currently use equifax.
https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/mySSA/df-idverification.html

Texgal17
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Texgal17 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:38 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Yes, this happened to my sister. Someone opened an account in her name. Luckily SS sent her a letter verifying she opened an account, but she did not!

gtd98765
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Krebs on Security recommends everyone create a My Social Security account to make sure no one else does it for you to steal benefits.
KrebsOnSecurity has long warned readers to plant your own flag at the my Social Security online portal of the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) — even if you are not yet drawing benefits from the agency — because identity thieves have been registering accounts in peoples’ names and siphoning retirement and/or disability funds. This is the story of a Midwest couple that took all the right precautions and still got hit by ID thieves who impersonated them to the SSA directly over the phone.
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/01/reg ... -guard-up/

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telemark
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by telemark » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:43 pm

JediMisty wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:08 am
My credit is frozen, too. Since I've flubbed my PW, I was told I need to go to the SS office in person to have it re-set. What ID is required?
I used a driver's license (my own, actually). Even if you unfreeze your credit, there's a chance that the online test will fail if you haven't made any large purchases recently that they can ask you about.

Jim21713
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Jim21713 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:02 pm

I find the online account helpful in that you can track your monthly checks, medicare payments, and tax withheld ( I have Fed Tax withheld from my payment). I typically track my medicare premiums as I retired last year and used the life changing events (retirement) to reduce my premiums. I noticed from the website that they had reinstated higher premiums using my previous year's tax return and I was required to resubmit my life changing events documents once again. I understand that is normal as they will always reset the medicare premium based on prior tax returns.

I also had issues signing up as they would accept none of my identifiers and mailed me a code to my residence to allow me to sign up.

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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Stinky » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:04 pm

Dantes wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:25 am
With an online account you can do things like get a replacement card, change your address, and set up or modify direct deposit. So I believe its worth creating an account just to prevent someone else from fraudulently doing any of those things.
Bingo!

That’s why I have an account.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

pahkcah
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by pahkcah » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:11 pm

Very timely article in the local paper today from Kristen Alberino, a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist. Here's what Ms. Alberino said:

We are constantly expanding our online services to give you freedom and control in how you wish to conduct business with us. Our online services help you plan for the future and keep you in control of your benefits. You can go online to:
o Find out if you qualify for benefits;
o Use our benefit planners to help you better understand your Social Security protection;
o Estimate your future retirement benefits to help you plan for your financial future;
o Apply for retirement or Medicare quickly and easily; and
o Open your personal my Social Security account. It is a powerful tool to help you stay in control of your Social Security record.

If you don’t receive benefits yet, you can:
§ Get your Social Security Statement to review your earnings and make sure they’re recorded correctly;
§ Get a benefit verification letter to prove you don’t receive Social Security benefits or that you applied but haven’t received an answer yet;
§ Request a replacement Social Security card if you meet certain requirements; and
§ Check the status of your application or appeal a decision.

If you receive benefits, you can:
o Change your address and phone number;
o Get a benefit verification letter to prove you receive Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Medicare;
o Change your direct deposit information at any time;
o Request a replacement Medicare card; and
o Get a replacement Benefit Statement (SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S) for tax purposes.

pahkcah

investingdad
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by investingdad » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:27 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Yes, that's what happened to me.

mindgap
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by mindgap » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:26 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Is that something also the young folk should do or does signing up only makes sense once we reach the SS age?

Thx

cbeck
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by cbeck » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:22 am

Even if your credit is not frozen you can get that refusal message when you try to open an account at ssa.gov. When you enter your address they check it against the last address that the credit bureau has for you. If they don't match, then you'll get rejected. If that happens keep trying previous addresses until you get a hit.

Everyone should open an account at the earliest possible time. Once you have an account, if you have a US address on file with SSA, you can change the bank into which your benefits are deposited. Imagine how handy that would be if a fraudster got access.

investingdad
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by investingdad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:50 am

mindgap wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:26 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Is that something also the young folk should do or does signing up only makes sense once we reach the SS age?

Thx
I was 43 when somebody fraudulently opened one on my behalf. That was the same year a fake tax return was filed on my behalf.

mindgap
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by mindgap » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am

investingdad wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:50 am
mindgap wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:26 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Is that something also the young folk should do or does signing up only makes sense once we reach the SS age?

Thx
I was 43 when somebody fraudulently opened one on my behalf. That was the same year a fake tax return was filed on my behalf.
Ok, I was just wondering. I’m new to the USA and got my SSN a couple years ago. But it’s good to know that I can register already.

Seasonal
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Seasonal » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:26 am

Jim21713 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:02 pm
I also had issues signing up as they would accept none of my identifiers and mailed me a code to my residence to allow me to sign up.
I had thought that if you had trouble signing up for an online account you had to go to a SS office to get a code. Are you saying they will mail a code to allow you to sign up for online access?

Cody6136
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Cody6136 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:29 am

mindgap wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:26 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:13 am
I don't know if this is credible or not, but I have been told several times that :

If you don't register online, there is a high chance that identity thieves will do it for you.

So I did, and I'm urging others to do the same.
Is that something also the young folk should do or does signing up only makes sense once we reach the SS age?

Thx
Yes, you should IMO. I've been urging my nieces to do this ASAP.

Nowizard
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Nowizard » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:30 am

SS has annually sent out notices of increases in payments and/or deductions but, I believe, is discontinuing that and posting it on-line as of the next year. If that is the case, I will register.

Tim

Faith20879
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Faith20879 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:12 am

Texgal17 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:38 pm
Yes, this happened to my sister. Someone opened an account in her name. Luckily SS sent her a letter verifying she opened an account, but she did not!
Let me guess, she is over 62 and have not applied for SS yet? Same thing happened to us. We contacted SS office and they put a lock on our file so when the time comes we will have to go into the office to apply in person.

We are victims of the OPM breach a couple of years back so our SS# and ages probably have become public records. I read somewhere (don't remember) that people who are over 62 and have not applied for SS are called the low-hanging fruits. The villains will go for us first.

Texgal17
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Texgal17 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:35 am

Faith20879 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:12 am
Texgal17 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:38 pm
Yes, this happened to my sister. Someone opened an account in her name. Luckily SS sent her a letter verifying she opened an account, but she did not!
Let me guess, she is over 62 and have not applied for SS yet? Same thing happened to us. We contacted SS office and they put a lock on our file so when the time comes we will have to go into the office to apply in person.

We are victims of the OPM breach a couple of years back so our SS# and ages probably have become public records. I read somewhere (don't remember) that people who are over 62 and have not applied for SS are called the low-hanging fruits. The villains will go for us first.
Actually she was 57 when it happened a few years ago.....🧐

Faith20879
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Faith20879 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:47 am

Texgal17 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:35 am
Actually she was 57 when it happened a few years ago.....🧐
Oh, 57? I see. My guess is she must be eligible for some kind of benefits, if not the usual social security. Or the villains would not have targeted her. Anyway, she is just as a low-hanging fruit as us. Be vigilant.

Austintatious
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Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Post by Austintatious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:53 am

On Jonathan Clements' Humble Dollar this morning:

ACT
August 14, 2019

CHECK YOUR Social Security statement to get an estimate of benefits and make sure your earnings record is correct. The easiest way to do this: Set up a “my Social Security” account, preferably adding two-factor authentication. This will also preempt scammers, who might otherwise try to set up an account in your name—and claim your benefits.

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