Unable to create account on ssa.gov

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sophie1
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Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by sophie1 » Wed May 01, 2019 7:20 am

I know there have been previous threads on this, but this about a different issue...

I froze my credit with all three agencies after getting my third separate notification about a university data breach involving my social security number. Unfortunately I didn't try to set up the ssa account first. I recently lifted the freeze temporarily at all three agencies (Transunion, Experian, Equifax) so I thought I'd take advantage and try for SSA. I pulled a credit report from Equifax then waited a couple of days to be sure that the unfreeze percolated through the servers, then I tried again, but I'm still unable to create an account.

After several calls to the help desk and having to wait a day between tries due to the 24 hour suspension x 2, I've learned the following:

- Don't use autofill. Somehow they know when data are being autofilled, and that will cause a failure.
- Clear cache and use a fresh browser window.
- If you have credit frozen at all three agencies, it may not work to just unfreeze Equifax (the service they check with). You have to unfreeze all of them.

My problem, according to the help desk, is the address, most likely due to the apartment number. There are many possible variations (e.g. Line 1 vs Line 2, precede with "Apt" or not, etc). Also "Avenue" vs "Ave" or "Street" vs "St" can be a problem. I used the text listed on the Equifax report and on my driver's license (which are different variations) but neither worked. Also, there's some chance that SS has an old address (there are 5 listed on my Equifax report, dating back 20 years). The last SS mailing (before they stopped sending statements) was before my last move, so I don't really know which address they have on file.

Does anyone have suggestions to offer? Going to a social security office in NYC is simply not an option as I don't consider an SSA account to be worth spending 4+ hours waiting in a cramped room. I tried that already, and that was the estimated wait time and it was considered typical.

livesoft
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by livesoft » Wed May 01, 2019 7:26 am

Write your Congressperson and have them take care of it.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

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peetsperk
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by peetsperk » Wed May 01, 2019 7:44 am

Sophie1 - you are not alone. I had already established Social Security accounts on-line for both my wife and myself approximately 4 years ago. The problems began when they decided to add another level of authentification to sign-in to your SS account. This sounds great in theory, but in practice has been a problem. Since then I have not been able to get into either account. Why our government is using a private third party to authenticate identity is beyond me especially when you consider that a breach by this private third-party company is one of the reasons 140 million people in the United States are at risk of having their identity stolen.

Like you, I have unfrozen my credit and that did not work. I also had Social Security send me a new access code in the mail believing that would do the trick, but their website does not recognize the code they sent me. So tomorrow my wife and I are going to our local Social Security office to hopefully solve this problem. The saga continues. :(

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lthenderson
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by lthenderson » Wed May 01, 2019 9:05 am

I've never heard of freezing/unfreezing credit reports having anything to do with setting up an account through the SSA online. But I couldn't set up one either and went to the SS office and sat through the four hours to talk to someone. Turned out it was locked somehow and they unlocked it. When I got home, I was able to set it up no problem.

Since then I have learned that the key to going to the SSA office is to call and make an appointment. They will book it out a couple months but the advantage is you don't have to wait in line more than a few minutes of the time they give you.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed May 01, 2019 9:11 am

I tried to set up a Social Security account online, and it wouldn't let me. I called their customer service representative who told me that the culprit was the identity protection program that I had signed up for after the OPM data breach. He said that the only way to get it fixed would be to go in person to my local Social Security office and wait for hours to see a rep.

supersharpie
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by supersharpie » Wed May 01, 2019 9:16 am

Keep in mind that if you don't create your account, it is conceivable someone else could.

That's why it is important for everyone aged 18 to 100+ to either create an account OR call the help desk and place a block on their electronic access.

Please share that info with people you care about, especially those who don't use the internet. Inaction opens these folks up to fraud.

Prahasaurus
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by Prahasaurus » Wed May 01, 2019 9:35 am

peetsperk wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:44 am
Sophie1 - you are not alone. I had already established Social Security accounts on-line for both my wife and myself approximately 4 years ago. The problems began when they decided to add another level of authentification to sign-in to your SS account. This sounds great in theory, but in practice has been a problem. Since then I have not been able to get into either account. Why our government is using a private third party to authenticate identity is beyond me especially when you consider that a breach by this private third-party company is one of the reasons 140 million people in the United States are at risk of having their identity stolen.

Like you, I have unfrozen my credit and that did not work. I also had Social Security send me a new access code in the mail believing that would do the trick, but their website does not recognize the code they sent me. So tomorrow my wife and I are going to our local Social Security office to hopefully solve this problem. The saga continues. :(
It's a joke how backwards the IRS and other US agencies are compared to many parts of the world. I, too, have the same saga with ssa.gov. My favorite is the IRS. Living abroad and having to deal with the IRS is a disaster. They owe me thousands of dollars where they've sent checks that never arrived, or arrived many, many months late and couldn't be cashed. Who sends checks through the mail in 2019? It's laughable and inefficient. But here we are.

Topic Author
sophie1
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by sophie1 » Wed May 01, 2019 9:38 am

supersharpie wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:16 am
Keep in mind that if you don't create your account, it is conceivable someone else could.
+1. It's a big reason why I wanted to do it.

Extra info I got from calling one more time (to ask about an appointment at an SS field office...unfortunately you can't do that.) The address they use is from the IRS database, and it should be whatever is on your tax return. I also got the account un-suspended so I could try again. Typed everything in and used the exact address shown on my tax return. No go.

It is actually important for me to get to the bottom of this, because maybe someone has in fact already created an account with my SSN, which has been leaked numerous times even before Equifax. I really wish SS could handle this stuff over the phone, but there is nothing for it except to take a day off work, show up on a Tuesday or Thursday AM with a laptop or a book, and brave the 4 hour wait.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by Cyclesafe » Wed May 01, 2019 1:16 pm

I couldn't establish an account online either and was told by the person on the helpline that I would have to go into an office and register in person. The issue was due to a credit freeze.

The person on the helpline set me up with an appointment at the local SS office. I went there, signed in, and saw an agent immediately. In 10 minutes I was out the door.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

Miguelito
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by Miguelito » Wed May 01, 2019 1:17 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:11 am
I tried to set up a Social Security account online, and it wouldn't let me. I called their customer service representative who told me that the culprit was the identity protection program that I had signed up for after the OPM data breach. He said that the only way to get it fixed would be to go in person to my local Social Security office and wait for hours to see a rep.
Same here.

CFIT
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by CFIT » Wed May 01, 2019 4:54 pm

I'm having similar problems. I unfroze my credit with Equifax but still got an error at the end of answering multiple choice questions about loans and places where I had lived. I was locked out of the application, and called SSN for help. They unlocked it again but I got the same results. The nice SSN lady, who stayed on the line with me, said that my only recourse was to go to the SSN office.

One odd thing in the multiple choice questions was one that gave five or six addresses. The question was "On which of these streets have you never lived?" Having never lived on any of them, I tried to check them all. But the form only allows one box to be checked. So I checked "None of the above." My way of parsing this makes my response seem to mean "I've never not lived on all of the addresses." Or, by extension, "I've lived on all of those streets."

3-20Characters
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by 3-20Characters » Wed May 01, 2019 5:00 pm

If you try enough times and fail, you will be frozen out and have to go to the office. If you try again, it will not even let you into the first screen and bounce you. Bonus. Nobody else will able to set up an account in your name. You can now take your sweet time getting to the ss office to do it in person.

jebmke
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by jebmke » Wed May 01, 2019 5:17 pm

This happened to me. There was no alternative than to go in to the office. Fortunately I live in a rural area and the office isn't normally busy.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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9to5er
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by 9to5er » Wed May 01, 2019 8:13 pm

Happened to me. I called and they said I could go in and get a code, but didn't offer to set an appointment. I went today, waited an hour to get the code. When I got home, I entered my info with the code and it still didn't verify! I tried changing my info a couple of times and it locked me out for 24 hours. I will call tomorrow before trying again.

The code is supposed to override any possible issues with the credit verification. I'll also try the different browser / clearing the cache as suggested above. Wish me luck!

Update: Called today and discovered the issue... I have a name suffix (jr., III) and the login page has a box for entering the suffix. I had tried to login with and without the suffix, but what worked was putting the suffix in the last name box, NOT the suffix box. The representative apparently has seen this issue before and had me try that. Account created!
Last edited by 9to5er on Thu May 02, 2019 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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F150HD
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by F150HD » Wed May 01, 2019 8:35 pm

I've never heard of freezing/unfreezing credit reports having anything to do with setting up an account through the SSA online. But I couldn't set up one either and went to the SS office and sat through the four hours to talk to someone. Turned out it was locked somehow and they unlocked it.
I was told by a SS person via phone that once credit is froze in order to set up an account you need to go to an office in person. This was a year or so ago. YMMV

potto0213
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Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

Post by potto0213 » Wed May 01, 2019 8:54 pm

After finding my wife locked from creating her "my social security" account, we unlocked only the Equifax credit bureau, waited 24 hours to make sure there was time for the lock to be effective, and then tried again. We were then able to create her account. We had the unlock only effective for 3 days so it is now back in effect. We have no trouble signing into her account now.

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