Social Security is a system that allows you to track your earnings history and then apply benefits based on your contribution once you’re retired or disabled.
All working citizens and residents of the United States must have a Social Security number unless legally exempt. This means that all legal citizens have responsibilities related to updating their Social Security record if their information or status changes. We’ve rounded up the most common reasons why you may need to update your Social Security record.
Change your citizenship status
If you have a change in your citizenship status, you must update it with a local social security office.
To begin updating your citizenship status, you will need to print Form SS-5 . If you are a new citizen, you will need to provide your most recent naturalization certificate and immigration documents. If you are also a student, please bring proof of your enrollment and scholarship information.
Update your name after marriage or divorce
Marriage is often accompanied by a change of surname. It is necessary to update the social security administration in this regard. Otherwise, W-2 forms received after the name change may be incorrectly recorded. This means you may be contributing to an incorrect earnings record and will depreciate your retirement benefits.
To successfully change your name, you must provide proof of your name change in the form of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, or naturalization certificate showing your new name.
If your spouse receives Social Security benefits, they may be eligible for your benefits as a married couple. Find out how you and your spouse can benefit from each other’s earnings.
After you get married, be sure to file your taxes under the name currently on your Social Security record. This is an essential part of avoiding a credit audit or freeze. If you misreport the government, they might consider this fraud.
Get a new card after name change
Once you’ve updated your name at a local Social Security office, you can have them mail you a replacement card there. This can save you time in the future instead of having to go back or use the online system.
If you need an ID card in your new name for a bank account or other application, you can request a temporary printout that the agent can give you right away.
If you forget to do this when you originally changed your name, you will need to fill out Form SS-5 again and take it to a social security office. If you have set up your account online, you can speed up this process by requesting a replacement card online.
Update your direct deposit bank account
According to the new law passed in 2013, social security benefits must be received electronically. When you initially set up your Social Security benefits, you will be asked to provide a bank account into which you can pay your funds on a monthly basis. If you get a new bank account or lose access to your existing bank account, it is essential that you update this information if you want to get paid.
The fastest way is to call the Social Security office and they should be able to handle it for you if you can prove your identity. Otherwise, you will need to go to a social security office with documents to prove your identity and citizenship. They will then take the direct deposit form and update your bank account.
You can also do this remotely through a Social Security online account. Updating your direct deposit is quick and easy online, but creating your account is one step. If you use your Social Security a lot or rely on payments to survive, consider creating this tool to make sure you’re protected.
Track your Social Security number online
Keeping track of your Social Security record can help troubleshoot problems in the future. If you’ve set up a Social Security account online, you can receive updates about your Social Security by phone or email.
For people who want to be on the lookout for potential fraud or credit freezes, this is a great way to make sure your Social Security data hasn’t been compromised.
You can call a social security office and they can tell you the status of your account if you prove your identity. Sometimes this can take a while if you don’t have the correct information about yourself. Many times, people will pay fraud experts to help monitor their credit status.
Frequently asked questions
Why is it important to have social security?
Social Security guarantees you additional cash flow once you retire or become disabled. Many people use it as a safety net in case something happens to them and they can’t work.
What do we use social security for?
We use Social Security to keep track of people’s earnings and capital, and we use it to guarantee future cash payments when they need it.
What is the purpose of the social security system?
The social security system works as a financial safety net for people who are unable to generate income for themselves. Sometimes the payments are temporary, but many times people will receive payments until they die, then they are passed on to the beneficiaries.