The Social Security Administration (SSA) handles the monitoring, management, and distribution of many of the benefits available to United States residents. The SSA started in 1935 with the passage of the Social Security Act by President Roosevelt. Congress passed the act as a response to the Great Depression. During the era, there was a growing demand to provide some sort of “safety net” to citizens who were unable to work. That included the elderly, underage, and disabled.
Today, the SSA distributes benefits to more than 63 million Americans. That’s about 1 out of every 6 residents of the United States. To facilitate the distribution of benefits on such a large scale, the SSA has almost 60,000 employees working in 10 Social Security regional offices and about 1,230 field offices. That means that no matter where you live in the United States, there is likely to be a Social Security office nearby. Additionally, many of the Social Security Administration’s services are now available online.
Since it’s likely that you will need the services of the Social Security Administration at some point in your life, it’s important to understand what they do and how you can contact them.
The Social Security Administration operates hundreds of offices nationwide. To find the closest social security office to you, visit the Social Security Office Locator online. Put in your zip code and the website will bring up the Social Security office closest to you. Consider trying both your home and work addresses, too. There may be an office that is more conveniently located to one of those places.
In the SSA office listings, you’ll find the Social Security office address, telephone numbers, and hours for that office. Social Security office hrs will vary from location to location, depending on staffing and appointment demands. Many of the offices will also have an expandable section titled “Show Special Instruction.” Make sure you read these if they are available for the location you want to visit. This section will have information about where is the social security office located, where to park, or how to enter the building.
If you’re using a smartphone (which through the government you can also get a free phone), you can easily Google queries like “social security office near my location” or “social security near me” or “closest social security office to my location” to find the closest location. If you don’t have GPS turned on, you can also search using your state name or abbreviation as follows: “social security office utah” or “social security office mn.”
If you are an American citizen currently residing overseas, you can still access social security benefits and services. The SSA’s Office of Earnings & International Operations manages benefits for overseas citizens or those who plan on living outside the United States soon. There are no SSA offices outside the United States. However, there are officials at the U.S. Embassy nearest you trained to help in SSA matters. They will be able to provide you with the information that you need to access your SSA benefits from overseas. You can visit the SSA Foreign Country Service Information page to find a location within the country where you are residing.
Yes. United States citizens are able to use any social security office that they choose. So even if you live in Colorado, you can visit Social Security offices in Oregon. This enabled residents to get the services they need no matter where they may be at the time. However, you may find it easier to deal with the social security office nearest your home, as you may need to make multiple visits.
With more than 60 million Americans currently receiving Social Security benefits of some type, it’s no wonder the 1,230 field offices can be busy places. It can be difficult to obtain a convenient appointment time in busier offices. If you’d like to skip the line, consider accessing SSA services online. While not all SSA services are available online, many are and more are being added all the time. Using online services could cut down on your wait time to receive the benefits and information that you need. Some of the online services available include:
Visit the Social Security Administration’s website before you find your local SSA office and see if the services you need are available online.
One of the most important jobs of the Social Security Administration is to distribute benefits. These benefits are not automatically granted, however. You’ll need to apply for them and wait for an approval on your application before you start receiving them. You can apply at your local social security office or through the SSA’s online services.
There are four major types of benefits available through the SSA to American citizens. These include:
Your social security card is one of the most important identifying documents you’ll have in your lifetime. It’s required to do things such as open a bank account, buy a home, get a job, and receive your retirement benefits. The SSA is responsible for issuing both the Social Security card and the number that appears on it. The social security card center will be able to assist you with any issues regarding either item. You can visit the Social Security card locations to obtain services such as:
Tracking your lifetime income credits. One of the most important uses of your social security number is to track how much income you earn over your lifetime. How much income you earn and how many years you work will determine which benefits you’ll be eligible for. It will also determine how much you receive from those benefits. You can check on your lifetime income credits by contacting the SSA.
Estimating your retirement income. If you are doing some retirement planning, you’ll want to take your social security retirement benefits into account. The SSA can help you estimate your future income based on your work history. This can help you plan for supplemental retirement income needs.
Proving your benefits status. If you need to prove your benefits status, the SSA can provide the official documentation. This may be necessary to apply for other benefits programs or to apply for certain housing programs.
Remember that many of these services will be available online. However, you can still find the social security office near you if you’d rather apply for them in person. You’ll need to make an appointment with your local office and let them know which services you need to access.
If you are an American citizen, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll end up dealing with the Social Security Administration at some point in your life. It’s one of the most far-reaching departments within the United States government, touching the lives of almost everyone who lives here. Make sure you know how to contact this important service, whether it’s for your current or future needs. Use the Social Security locator by zip code to find the nearest office. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the online services, too. That way you’ll be well informed and able to access the information you need, whenever when you need it.
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