Where to Find Your Social Security Benefits Statements
February 13th, 2017 by Attorney John Colvin
If you’re older than age 25, you may remember receiving a statement in the mail showing your lifetime contributions to Social Security and your projected benefit payments for retirement, disability, and survivors. Those statements traditionally have been mailed to people every five years, beginning just before their 25th birthday, and every year to people age 60 and older. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, the Social Security Administration announced in January it is discontinuing those paper statements for most people.
As of January, only people age 60 or older who are not receiving benefits and don’t have a “my Social Security” account will continue receiving statements. To access your benefit information, you’ll need to create an online account.
Where to Access Your Benefit Information
To see your benefits statement, you must create an account on the SSA website. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and provide:
- A valid email address
- Your Social Security Number
- A U.S. mailing address.
Once you sign up, you’ll receive a code in your email that you’ll enter on the SSA website to activate your account. When your account is active, if you don’t yet receive benefits, you can log in to:
- Access your Social Security Statement
- Check the status of a benefits claim and see updates about scheduled hearings and appeals decisions
- Review your estimated future retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits
- Verify that the SSA has correctly recorded your earnings
- See how much you’ve paid in taxes toward Social Security and Medicare.
Regardless of whether you’re currently receiving benefits, you may also use your online account to request a replacement Social Security card or request a benefit verification letter (sometimes called a “budget letter” or “proof of income” letter). You may need a benefit verification letter when you apply for a loan, when you must provide proof of your disability or Medicare benefits, or when you apply for income-restricted housing.
If you’re receiving benefits, you can log into your account to:
- Check your benefit and payment information
- Review your earnings record
- Update your personal information
- Start or modify direct deposit for your benefit payments
- Request an instant SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S replacement tax form.
If you don’t have access to a computer or would prefer to receive a benefits statement by standard mail, you can fill out a Request for Social Security Statement and mail it to the SSA. Your statement should arrive within four to six weeks of your request.
Adapting to Changing Times
Doug Walker, deputy commissioner of communications for the SSA, explained in a blog post that the SSA has had to make several major changes, due to budget shortages. He said funding for the SSA is 10 percent lower than it was in 2010, while the organization is serving 13 percent more people. To reduce costs, the SSA instituted a hiring freeze in 2016, and it anticipates that discontinuing paper benefits statements will reduce the agency’s costs by $11.3 million for fiscal year 2017.
Budget shortfalls may continue to have a negative impact on the SSA’s ability to serve people who need benefits, many of whom are waiting a year or more to find out whether the SSA has approved their claim.
If you need help with your disability benefits claim, or with an appeal, contact John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law. For 20 years, he has been helping people get the benefits they are due, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 1-931-962-1044 or submit our online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.