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Grab a Social Security account

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Monday, January 7, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

If you haven't signed up for an online personal Social Security information account at, take the time to do it now. If you are 18 or older and have worked the number of years it takes to qualify, it will give you an immediate estimate of the amount of Social Security that you will be entitled to at ages 62, 66 and 70, as well as the amount you and your family would receive if you were disabled. Having that information is a good retirement planning starting point.

If you're close to receiving Social Security or already retired and receiving payments, you'll be able to submit a request for a benefit verification letter. The benefit verification letter can serve as proof of income if you're buying a house or renting one or buying a car. It also proves current Medicare coverage, retirement or disability status and even provides proof of age.

You can get one of these letters without having to go down to the Social Security office and wait in line or call the office and wait on hold. Being able to avoid both of these circumstances is a real blessing.

Like everything else about Social Security, the process isn't simple. You have to pick a username and password that are more complicated than those I usually use, and you have to update it every six months. I found writing it down and putting it in a safe place the only possible way I could remember it. Given the bad things that can happen when someone unauthorized gets hold of your Social Security number, I shouldn't be complaining.

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September 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

Regarding Bob's comment about not being able to set up a Social Security account because of a freeze on your credit reports (which I also have), then a thief should also not be able to set up a false Social Security account in the name of a person who has their credit reports frozen, so why worry.....correct?

January 08, 2013 at 12:51 pm

yawn, take this claptrap to yahoo, lauren

January 08, 2013 at 10:52 am

Setting this up also requires that you NOT have a freeze on your credit reports (to prevent some measure of ID theft). Apparently the Social Security people look you up via one of the big three bureaus to verify you are who you are. If you have a freeze in place, that will not work and you are back to trying to deal with them on the phone or in person. I've worked through this before and just tried again, but they have not removed the credit bureau requirement.
My credit is outstanding, and my ID is secure -- but I better not try to get help from the Social Security people online

January 07, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Speaking of social security numbers, why hasn't any judge had the guts and integrity to do his/her job on demanding to ask our beloved President (poser) as to why he had a
CT social security number issued to him back in 1980?!? On Jan. 3, 2013, Judge England in CA ruled that he did not have to answer to that before the electoral votes were countered before the fraud's second inaugural. Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves! Search "Orly Taitz" for detailed information. She has been persistent in proving that Obama is NOT constitutionally eligible to serve, but Obama sends his goon lawyers around to several dozen courts to get these lawsuits dismissed. Is this America?!? Americans deserve to know if their president is constitutionally eligible to serve as POTUS!!!!! God knows what the deal is. I hope He deals with the poser sooner vs. later.