A new government website makes it easy to access your Social Security statements online. In fact, this is now the only way (unless you’re over 60) to access your Social Security statements since they stopped sending them in May.
Yeah, I didn’t know either until I started to research this article. It’s going to save maybe $70 million per year by going to an online system. There are questions about the legality of this move and how this will hurt those in rural areas and minorities without interent access.
If you are over 60, you can opt to still receive statements by mail, but you’ll have to change your delivery options after you sign up online.
This is the new system, so let’s adapt and learn how to access our SS statements online. Sign up online is easy and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
You’ll need to have on hand: email address, Social Security number, U.S. mailing address, and be over 18.
Why Should I Check my Social Security Statement Online?
I’m glad you asked. The online social security information can be helpful in many ways.
First, the Social Security Administration has stopped mailing the statements, so this is the only way to access this important information.
Second ,it gives an idea of *estimated disability and retirement payments that can be used for retirement planning.
Third, it gives your lifetime reported social security earnings which should be double checked for accuracy.
This is a big deal according to a study by the Social Security Advisory Board:
“More than half of those who read the statement reported that as a result, they increased their savings rate or revised their financial plans for the future; 25 percent said they contacted a personal financial adviser.”-SSAB
Security & Process
They take security seriously and use Experian to verify your identity (read the privacy statement).
- There is also a feature that will text your phone every time your online SSA account is accessed. The verification process is via: W-2, 1040 SE, last 8 digits of a credit/debit card, or the last direct deposit of Social Security benefits. [In my trial I was unable to authenticate my identity using a debit card, so maybe only credit cards work?]
- You’ll go through a series of financial history and address questions to confirm your identity similar to getting your free credit report.
- Establish 3 standard security questions and answers.
- Set a password that expires in 180 days for your Social Security login.
After you finally verify your identity and go through security you’ll able to access your Social Security statements online.
You’ll be able to:
- Print and/or download your most current statement.
- View your *estimated Social Security benefits for retirement and disability.
- View a reported earnings record of your lifetime working history.
I found it very beneficial to view my Social Security statement and it was one of the better government websites I’ve visited.
It gave me a reassurance that if I do die, my family will have an additional survivorship monthly payment along with my life insurance policy. It was also interesting to be able to view my life time earnings history in one place going back to high school. Wow! I’ve earned a lot of money over my lifetime.
I encourage you to access your Social Security statements online today. I think you’ll find it helpful and convenient, especially as you near retirement age.