How to Find Social Security Office Near Your Home?
At some point in your life, you will likely have to go to a Social Security office, this may be to get your Social Security card, replace it, or to apply for benefits. While you may be able to utilize many of the Social Security services on the internet, there are some serviced that you cannot do online. You may also simply want to speak to someone in person as opposed to using the internet and therefore it is important to know how to find a Social Security office near your home or wherever you may be.
A Brief Account of Social Security
The Social Security Act was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1935 as a way to provide security to Americans that were decimated by the great depression. Social Security to this day continues to be a foundation of economic security in the United States and is considered to be one of Roosevelt’s greatest contributions to America during his time as President.
Social Security is essentially a tax, workers are required to pay a percentage of their income every month which is matched by employers. The total percentage is 12.4% of earnings, meaning each person pays 6.3% of their income.
In order to be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must accumulate enough "credits" during your time as a member of the workforce. While the amount of money earned fluctuates in its equivalence to credits, as of 2019 every 1,360 dollars earned a year is equal to one point. You can get a maximum of 4 points a year. You will need a certain amount of credits in order to be eligible for different benefits. Typically to be eligible for retirement benefits you will need 40 credits (around 10 years of work). Disability benefits require a lesser amount of credits.
The amount of money you are eligible for as a benefit depends on how much money you have earned during your years of work as well as the age you choose to collect these benefits. The Social Security Administration sends a yearly estimated benefit statement that you can look at. You can also use the online benefits calculator on the Social Security website in order to determine the amount you can expect.
Reasons to Visit a Social Security Office
Apply for a Social Security Card- If for some reason you did not get a Social Security number for a newborn child in the hospital, or if your child was not born in a hospital and did not have the opportunity to get a Social Security number for him/her you will have to go to a Social Security office in order to receive one. If you have waited until the child is above the age of 12, they will need to visit the Social Security office as well.
Replace a Lost Social Security Card- If you have lost your Social Security card or it was stolen you will need to replace it. The Social Security Agency allows you to replace the card for free three times per year, and a total of 10 times in a lifetime. While in most states you can order a replacement card online, there are 16 states where you cannot do so. The states where you have to go in person to replace a card are; Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
Apply for Retirement Benefits- When reaching the age of 61 years and 8 months, you are eligible for retirement benefits from Social Security. Applying for these benefits is easily done online, but if you prefer to do so in person, you can visit an office. If English is not your first language and you are unable to complete the application online, you are able to request for an employee of the Social Security office who speaks your language to assist you in the application.
Apply for Medicare- Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare. You can apply for Medicare online, but many people often get confused and overwhelmed by the different plans which are separated by A, B, C, and D and cover different things like prescriptions and hospital stays. If you need assistance and advice about which plans best fit your situation, visiting a Social Security office, you might want to apply in person at a Social Security office.
Apply for Survivor Benefits- This is the one service that Social Security does not allow you to apply for online. When a family member dies, either the widow, widower or children under the age of 18 are entitled to the Social Security benefits of the deceased. As the Social Security Agency does not accept applications for survivor benefits online, you will need to visit your local office.
How to Locate a Social Security Office Near You?
Thankfully it is very simple to find a social security office closest to your location and there are a few tools to help you do so.
The first way is to use the official Social Security websites' online office locator tool. Simply insert the zip code of your location and the website will provide you with the closest location.
The second way is more complicated, yet more useful if the nearest location is difficult to get or is overcrowded. If there is a Social Security office in the city, and one located in the suburbs, it may be worth it to go to the further one and spend less time waiting in line. You may also not be able to access the closest location due to traffic or lack of public transportation. You will need to go to Google maps or an equivalent and simply enter the "Social Security office". The result will be an interactive map that shows you all the Social Security offices in your area. You can then locate which one works best for you and visit during their listed open hours.