SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: Online accounts are secure
Q. I was unable to create a “My Social Security” account because I have a security freeze on my credit report. Why should this matter?
A. As a protection for you, part of the process when you create your My Social Security account includes contact by Social Security with the credit report firm Experian to help verify your identity. As a result, you cannot create a My Social Security account online if you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your Experian credit report. You first must ask Experian to remove the freeze or alert.
This is part of the security protection process. From its own internal records, Social Security can verify much of the information requested from you to establish your My Social Security account.
Using additional, external records to further prove your identity when creating the My Social Security account provides another layer of security.
Experian provides questions from its records that also serve to verify your identity. These questions would not be about information routinely available, for example from a lost wallet or purse. This does not affect your credit score. Your Social Security number is not shared with Experian, and information from that firm is not kept by Social Security.
Multiple security protections are available for your use when creating your My Social Security account. Learn more about them at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/.
Once established, your My Social Security account is useful whether or not you receive benefits. If receiving benefits or having Medicare now, you can:
- Get your benefit verification letter.
- Check your benefit and payment information and your earnings record.
- Change your address and phone number.
- Start or change direct deposit of your payment.
If not receiving benefits yet, you can get your Social Security statement with estimates of retirement, disability and survivors benefits to help financial planning. You also will see your earnings record and the estimated SSA and Medicare taxes you have paid.