Did you know that there are more than 2,700 rules that govern your Social Security benefits? Fortunately, many of those rules probably don’t apply to you – but how can you interpret all those rules yourself when there are thousands of explanations in the agency’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS)? The simple answer is to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). Yes, we know what negative connotations the idea of communicating with a government agency evokes. Fortunately, there are usually three ways to contact the Social Security Administration to get information and resolve problems.
Warning About Social Security Scams
Everyone should be aware that scammers often pose as Social Security representatives to steal identities or money. If you need to call Social Security, check the phone number found on SSA.gov.
Do not rely on a number provided to you in an email or by someone you call. You should also be aware that the Social Security Administration has stated that it will send letters to people if there is a problem with their Social Security number, contributions or benefits and that it will never threaten people over the phone or demand immediate payment in the form of gift cards or wire transfers.
Contacting Social Security by phone
The Social Security website is a great place to start, but sometimes the information offered does not seem to address your situation or answer your specific question. Your next step then may be to call. Since Social Security does not publish the phone numbers of most local offices, you should probably call the main number: 1-800-772-1213. Even if you have the number for your local office, you will probably want to start with the SSA’s automated system.
When you call, you can perform many services, including requesting a verification letter and/or benefit summary, inquiring about the status of a claim, requesting a replacement card, finding the address of your local office, and handling some Medicare-related matters.
If the automated system isn’t enough, you can speak to a representative between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Continue reading on the next page to discover all important information on how to use the automated telephone services.