Visit a Social Security Office Near You: A Quick and Easy Guide

Previously, many procedures such as applying for Social Security benefits or obtaining a card necessitated a visit to the local Social Security office. Scheluding an appoint might be required, request time off from work, travel to the office, and wait your turn. Almost all Social Security transactions can now be completed online, from the convenience of your own home. And Social Security makes every effort to make it as simple as possible for individuals to browse their website and conduct business, whether online, over the phone, or in person.

Whether you’re dealing with earned benefits, spousal benefits (and ex-spouse benefits), children’s benefits, or survivor benefits, or simply seeking information on topics such as taxes and Social Security or SS cost of living adjustments, understanding your options is critical to saving you time and stress.


Online vs. in-person

The Social Security Administration offers a variety of online services, including applying for benefits, estimating retirement benefits, applying for a Social Security card or replacement card, appealing a decision, and even estimating future benefits via a retirement calculator that allows you to compare various retirement dates and future earnings estimates.


In some instances, a visit to a Social Security field office is still essential. For instance, some online applications are only available in English; therefore, applicants who require assistance in another language may need to call or visit the office. Additionally, certain duties, such as reporting a death in order to get Survivor Benefits, must be completed over the phone or in person, though the funeral home will frequently notify Social Security of the death. Additionally, not all states accept applications online. Additionally, several jurisdictions that do provide online applications require applicants to have particular documentation, such as a driver’s license.


Though your unique situation may require you to call in or visit the office, starting with the Social Security’s website first is a good idea, which frequently has the answers to your inquiries and allows you to take care of your business much more quickly and efficiently than alternative channels.


Submit an application for Social Security benefits

Online applications for Social Security benefits can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. To begin, create or log into your my Social Security account and then click on Apply. You’ll proceed through a succession of screens in which you’ll be asked questions about yourself, your family, and your job. If you are unable to answer a question, you may skip it and return later. If for whatever reason you are unable to complete your application, you can “Return to a Saved Application” later without losing any of the information you supplied.


When responding to some questions, you may be unable to use periods, commas, or other special characters. For instance, you are not permitted to include periods in your address. The system will guide you through the steps and prompt you to return if anything is missing.


Depending on the type of application you’re making–for example, a replacement Social Security card or Retirement Benefits–you may need to provide your:

  • Number of the Social Security Administration
  • Certificate of birth or evidence of citizenship
  • Records of marriages and divorces
  • Documents relating to military service in the United States
  • A copy of the prior year’s W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return

Often, your local Social Security office may contact your state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online for you at no cost. If they are unable to verify your information online, they can still assist you in obtaining it.


Social Security card replacement

The Social Security Administration does not charge for card issuance or replacement, although it does have some regulations about who can apply online. For example, residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, and several other states cannot yet use the online service to obtain a replacement Social Security card, though residents of those states should check frequently to see if that capability has been added, as the service is expanding at a rapid pace. In Delaware and Wisconsin, you must have a driver’s license to use the online service. Additionally, in all locations, you must be a United States citizen who is at least 18 years old and has a United States mailing address.


If you are a United States citizen and have not recently received a replacement Social Security card or name change, you may be ineligible to use my Social Security’s online replacement card application.


How many Social Security offices are there in the United States?

In the United States, Social Security operates roughly 1,230 field offices, ten regional offices, six processing centers, and a central office in Baltimore. Certain states have a disproportionate number of offices. For instance, the New York Region is comprised of 100 field offices located throughout New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. The state of Texas has 70 field offices. Wyoming has less than a half-dozen. You can locate the field office that is closest to you here.

Social Security office hours will be extended to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning in early 2020. To plan, reschedule, or cancel an appointment, call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You may locate the location and contact information for your local Social Security office here:

What to expect when paying a personal visit

When you visit a Social Security Office, the documents you bring with you is determined by the purpose of your visit. Your visit may necessitate the following:

  • Number of the Social Security Administration
  • Certificate of birth or evidence of citizenship
  • Address
  • Evidence of household occupants
  • Documents relating to marriage or divorce
  • Documents relating to military service in the United States
  • A copy of the prior year’s W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax return

If you’re heading to the office for a disability hearing, you’ll need to know the dates of your doctor visits and the medications you’re currently taking. Each sort of benefit has its own part on the website, which details what documents you must bring in and whether it must be originals, photocopies, or digital.

Over 40 million people visit Social Security offices each year, yet not everyone schedules an appointment. The average wait time has been estimated to be around 25 minutes, while a few people have reported waiting up to an hour. The more prepared you are for the session, the more you understand what you are requesting, your rights, and the evidence necessary to support your aims, the more quickly and easily the appointment will likely be. You can gather a great deal of this knowledge online.

Added Resources

If you’re trying to apply for Social Security or obtain extra information, the Social Security Administration is typically a trustworthy source. Other resources, on the other hand, can be beneficial for more detailed information and news. Disability Help provides advice about how to maximize Social Security benefits while working, the best employment for seniors, frequent Social Security errors that could cost you money, and common Social Security scams.