Social Security Reverses Its Decision on Benefit Letters
At the end of 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) posted information that it intended to stop providing paper benefit/award letters from the local SSA offices beginning in February 2014. The rationale was that requiring individuals to use the online technological investments that SSA made would help meet increasing service demands despite shrinking budgets. People needing proof of their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits could get verification letters online instantly through a My Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
The SSA has recognized that this solution wouldn’t work for everyone, especially some seniors and residents with disabilities who don’t have access to computers or email accounts. As a result, according to a recent announcement, the SSA has reversed its policy and will continue to provide benefit verification letters until further notice.
Currently, the easiest way for applicants or residents to get SSA benefit verification is from the SSA website. The second option is to use the SSA toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request that SSA send a paper copy via U.S. Mail.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t set up an account for a resident. According to the ssa.gov website:
You can only create a ‘my Social Security account’ using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You cannot create or use an account on behalf of another person, even if you have that person’s written permission. You can never share the use of your account with anyone else under any circumstances. Unauthorized use of this service is a misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government and could subject you to criminal or civil penalties, or both.