No More Errands; Stay Home for the Holidays

~ By Monica Ochoa, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist ~

Monica Ochoa

Monica Ochoa
Social Security Administration

Let’s face it, the last thing you’re going to want to do during this holiday season is another errand. You’ve hung the lights, plugged them in, and were frustrated when you realized you needed to replace one little bulb to make the entire string work. That’s a trip to the store. You opened the cranberry sauce to discover it was mislabeled and you’re holding a delicious can of pink salmon. That’s another trip. And you thought this holiday season would be easy. When it comes to taking care of Social Security business, it is easy. You’ll find that makes it easy to stay home and get that one last thing done. You can check off much of your Social Security business quickly and securely from your home using your computer or tablet (which you might have unwrapped early). At the Social Security website you can

  • Create a my Social Security account, which enables you to:
    1. obtain an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits;
    2. verify the accuracy of your earnings record your future benefit amounts are based on your earnings record, so it is important to make sure your earnings are recorded properly;
    3. change your address and phone number, if you receive monthly Social Security benefits;
    4. sign up for or change direct deposit of your Social Security benefits; and
    5. obtain estimates of the Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid;
  • Apply for retirement, disability, spouses, and Medicare benefits;
  • Check the status of your benefit application;
  • Use our benefit planners to help you better understand your Social Security options as you plan for your financial future;
  • Request a replacement Medicare card; and
  • Apply for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs.

Looking for more Social Security information? The website has everything you need to know about the Social Security program. Information is available on subjects ranging from how to get a Social Security number for a newborn to how to apply for veterans’ benefits.

Keep in mind that during the holiday season, your wait time may be longer if you call or visit a local Social Security office. If you need to reach us by phone, you can call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. We can provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day, and you can use our automated response system to report a new address or request a replacement Medicare card. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

Skip your trip to the Social Security office so you have time to pick up that can of cranberry sauce. Stay warm and cozy, and get convenient service by going to

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