Finding Your Local Social Security Office
While you can access many government services online now, some tasks still must be done in person. Getting a new Social Security card or getting a replacement card will probably require a trip to a Social Security local office, but you can use a third party provider to help you with your request.
No matter where you’re located in the United States, you should be able to reach your closest Social Security office fairly quickly. There are around 1,230 locations in the country. For context, the smallest state (Rhode Island) has five offices, while the New York City region has 108 offices.
Americans who need Social Security services while outside the United States can contact the closest American embassy or consulate. There are no Social Security offices located abroad. However, Americans living in Canada may be able to travel a short distance to receive services; there are a number of offices located very close to the Canadian border.
If your nearest location is still too far to reach, call the Social Security Administration’s 24-hour toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives regularly visit isolated areas. And if you’re not able to leave home, a representative can come to you.
Finding a Location
So, how can you find the closest office to you? The fastest way is to use the Office Locator tool on the SSA’s website. Simply enter your zip code and the site will give you the address and hours of operation for the closest office. Click on “Show Special Instructions” to see some notes that are relevant to the office, like directions or parking information.
Alternately, you can call the SSA’s automated customer service number and follow the prompts to find an office. Most local offices don’t have public phone numbers.
You don’t have to have an appointment to visit an SSA office, but you do have the option to make one. It can save you wait time in the office, but an appointment may not be available right away. Schedule an appointment by calling the SSA customer service number between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Social Security Services
Make sure that you need to visit an office before you make the trip. For instance, online services are open to all Americans. You can apply for retirement, Medicare and disability benefits online as well as find out if you’re qualified for benefits.
Alternatively, you may apply for these benefits at a Social Security office, where you can also apply for Medicare, get help applying for food stamps and check on your Social Security earnings.
Social Security Card Requirements
If you’re applying for a new card, you will need to provide proof of your citizenship status, age and identity. The SSA provides a list of documents you can use, depending on your birth country. Typically, you can use your original birth certificate, U.S. passport and/or driver’s license to satisfy these requirements. One document, like your passport, may prove both your identity and citizenship status. However, the SSA requires that you provide at least two identifying documents.
If you’re applying for a replacement card, you must provide at least one document proving your citizenship status and identity. An original birth certificate or U.S. passport can satisfy this requirement. If you have changed your name, you will also need to bring supporting proof such as a marriage document or divorce decree. If you don’t want to go to a Social Security office and stay in line to request a Social Security card, or if you have questions regarding the documents necessary for your request, you can use the services of a third party like e-forms. They will be able to help you and provide you with card application assistance, online or over the phone, as well as clarify all your questions regarding necessary documents and all the steps needed for your request.
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