Even if you have not yet reached the age of retirement, it is very important for you to check your Social Security status and set up an online account. This is because it is an excellent tool to keep track of your benefits, and it can also prevent your funds from falling into the wrong hands.
It is very easy for thieves and scammers to obtain numbers and home addresses to use online. This includes setting up an account at ssa.gov to monitor your earnings activity.
When you reach age 62 and beyond, this is when the trouble can start. If your personal information has been hijacked, your retirement benefits can be collected by thieves. You may not even realize what has happened until you apply for your benefits many years later.
There is a limit of one online Social Security account for each number. This is why starting your account before retirement is so important. Having an account will aid you in learning about the benefits available and will provide online services to help you when updating your phone number and address. You can also obtain a letter to verify your benefits if you apply for a loan.
The account setup process is easy. The first step is to provide basic identification data. After this, the agency will check your file and follow up with a series of questions regarding your credit report. As an example, you may be asked to name the bank that issued you a credit card or mortgage.
In June of 2016, the My Social Security website set up a two-step process as a requirement to log in. To use this feature, you enter your username and password to generate a special code, which is texted or emailed to you. You then use this code to complete your login. The code verifies that you are who you claim to be.
If you are unable to create an online Social Security account or otherwise suspect your identity has been stolen, you can report the issue on the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website or directly to the SSA Office of the Inspector General.
In most cases, identity theft cases must be resolved by visiting a local Social Security office.