What You Can Do Online Vs. In Person at Social Security Office

What You Can Do Online Vs. In Person at Social Security Office

Things to Do Outside of Social Security Office
What you can and cannot do at a SSA office?

Getting to a Social Security office in order to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a real hassle, especially if you are unable to drive on your own due to your disability. Not to mention the fact that the Social Security Administration has closed many of its offices throughout the country.

Although there are still over 1,200 field offices in the country, more than 60 have closed since 2010. This can make it more difficult to get to a field office depending on where you are located.

Fortunately, the SSA has been focusing on expanding its online capabilities over the years. Many of the things that you had to do in person you can now accomplish online. However, there are still tasks that you may have to do in person.

The following explains exactly what you can do online and what will require you to visit a Social Security office in person.

What Can You Do on the Social Security Website?

You can easily be accomplish the following by visiting the Social Security website. The site is easy to use and provides step by step instructions for completing every task.

  • Determining if you qualify.

    The Social Security website provides a list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. Additionally, you can look through their Blue Book, which lists the conditions and symptoms that they consider disabling. Matching your condition or symptoms to those that are listed will help you determine if you qualify.

  • Applying for SSDI.

    The SSA provides step by step instructions on how to apply for SSDI benefits online. In addition to filling out an online application, you will also be required to provide additional information and documents. These documents will have to be mailed separately from your application, which can be submitted online.

  • Applying for retirement or spousal benefits.

    In addition to being able to apply for SSDI benefits online, you can also apply for retirement and spousal benefits online.

  • Applying for Medicare.

    You can apply for Medicare only through the SSA website as well.

  • Checking your application’s status.

    It can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days for an application approval. It’s important that you check its status regularly so that you can supply additional information if something is missing that’s slowing down the process. You can check your status online by signing up to a My Social Security account.

  • Viewing your Social Security statement. 

    You can check your statement if you have a My Social Security account. Your statement will include the estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, the estimated taxes you’ve paid for Social Security and Medicare, and your year’s earnings to verify that the estimates are correct.

  • Appealing a benefits denial.

    If your initial application has been rejected, then you can file an appeal online.

  • Estimating your benefits.

    Since you have access to your Social Security statement, you’ll be able to estimate your benefits through your my Social Security account.

  • Obtaining a benefit verification letter.

    You can obtain a benefit verification letter stating that you’ve never received SSDI benefits, SSI benefits or Medicare, that you did receive benefits but aren’t currently receiving them, or that you applied but haven’t received an answer yet.

  • Changing your address or phone number.

    If you move or change your number, you’ll need to let the SSA know to ensure that your benefits arrive at the correct address and that they can contact you with important information. You can easily change your address and phone number online.

  • Beginning or changing a direct deposit.

    If you’d prefer to set up a direct deposit for your benefits instead of receiving a check in the mail, you can do so online.

  • Requesting a replacement Medicare card.

    If you’ve lost your Medicare card or it’s been damaged or destroyed, you can request a replacement online.

  • Blocking electronic access to your information.

    If your Social Security information has been compromised (such as if someone has stolen your identity), then you can block electronic access to your information online so that nobody can see or change your information online.

What Can You Do at the Social Security Office?

First of all, everything that you can do online, you can do in person at a Social Security office. This means that if you don’t feel comfortable using the Social Security website in order to apply for benefits or do any of the required tasks for the application or appeal process, you can visit your local Social Security office and do them in person with the help of an SSA representative.

Keeping that in mind, the following are some of the things you can only do in person at a Social Security office:

  • Request a replacement Social Security card.

    If you’ve lost your Social Security card, it’s been stolen, or it was destroyed, you’ll need to get a replacement. You’ll need to visit your local Social Security office in person in order to request a new Social Security card.
    There are a few exceptions — currently, you can apply for a new card online in eight states along with Washington D.C. However, if you live anywhere else, you’ll need to request a new card in person.To do so you’ll need to fill out an application as well as provide proof of your identity, such as your birth certificate. You could do this by mail, but you might feel more comfortable doing so at the Social Security office since it’s not a good idea to send original identifying documents through the mail.

  • Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

    Although you can apply for SSDI benefits online, you can’t apply for SSI online. If you want to apply for SSI, you will need to schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office. The SSA is planning on making it possible to apply for SSI online in the next few years.

  • Apply for survivor benefits.

    In order to apply for survivor benefits, you will need to provide documentation that proves your relationship to the deceased. Depending on your relationship, the documentation may vary as well. Additionally, some of the questions that you will need to answer can be lengthy. As a result, you’ll need to visit the Social Security office in person to apply.

Mail & Phone Options

It’s worth mentioning that if you can’t do what you need to do online, it doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to visit the nearest Social Security office. Certain tasks can be done by phone or by mail as well.

Finding and going to your local Social Security office can be a real hassle. Especially, since the field offices are only open during certain hours. For most people, using the SSA website is much more convenient. Mainly since it’s accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have questions about the SSDI application process or need professional guidance, then be sure to set up a free consultation at Social Security Disability Advocates USA by calling us at (602) 952-3200 today.

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