If you receive Social Security income, you may be concerned about payments continuing if you change location. A change of address notification is required for those who receive Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Medicare. If you don’t receive benefits yet, you don’t need to notify the Social Security office of an address change.
The Social Security Administration requires you to tell the agency when you move, so that your deposits continue and you avoid disruptions. “It’s good to make sure you get your SSA-1099, which is your tax form you need each year from your Social Security benefits,” says Jeremy Keil, a retirement focused financial planner with Keil Financial Partners in New Berlin, Wisconsin. There are several ways to change your address with Social Security. Read on to learn about your options, and how to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Change Your Address Online
If you get retirement, survivors or disability benefits, or have Medicare, you can make the address switch online through your my Social Security account. To complete the change online, you’ll want to:
— Log in to your account.
— Click on the “My Profile” link, located on the right side of the screen.
— Choose “Update Contact Information.”
— Enter your new address.
— Select if the change should be made immediately or at a later date.
— Review the information you’ve entered.
— Click on “Submit.”
If you don’t have a my Social Security account, you can create one online for free. It typically takes less than 10 minutes, and once you have the account set up, you’ll be able to update your information and have access to other online services, such as viewing your statements or printing your proof of benefits.
For those who receive Supplemental Security Income, it’s possible to check your address through your online account. However, you won’t be able to request a location change online. The same is true if you do not have a U.S. mailing address. For these situations, you’ll need to call or visit a local Social Security office. “It’s best to make the change yourself and never give your Social Security number to anyone,” says Jeffrey Zhou, co-founder of Fig Loans in New York City.
Change Your Address by Phone
If you are unable to change your address online or would prefer to carry out the process over the phone, you can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you call at a different time, you’ll be connected to an automated system. When you get through, you can request the address change. You’ll need to tell the representative your new location and the date that you want the change to be made, such as right away or later.
You may be put on hold when you call, and your wait time could be several minutes or more than half an hour. The hold time is often longer if you call earlier in the day, or if you call on a Monday or Tuesday.
Change Your Address in Person
If you run into a problem changing your address online or would rather do it face-to-face, you can visit your local Social Security office. “This is a better option for non tech-savvy beneficiaries,” Zhou says. You can look online to find the nearest location and call ahead to make an appointment. You could also visit the office without an appointment, but the waiting time might be longer. When you go, tell the representative about your situation and inform them of your new address, along with the date when the change should be made. Social Security offices are typically busier early in the morning and at the beginning of the week and month. If you arrive during an off-peak time, you might have a shorter wait.
Prompt Notification Is Best
The Social Security Administration requires that you notify the office of the new address as soon as you know it. Even if you receive your benefits through direct deposit, the agency will want to have your correct address so it can send you information as needed. “It is recommended that you go through the process of changing your address prior to actually moving by utilizing the feature that lets you specify when the move-in date will come into effect,” says Anthony Martin, founder and CEO of Choice Mutual in Reno, Nevada. “If you move without changing your address then you may miss important updates and notices from Social Security that could delay future benefits.”
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