By Kirk Larson
Social Security Washington Public Affairs Specialist
Every day thousands use it to do business with Social Security. We strive to offer the kind of services that meet people’s needs. And sometimes you want fast and direct answers over the phone. We have that option.
You can call us toll free at 1-800-772-1213. Social Security offers some automated services that allow people to receive service without waiting to speak to a representative. The automated services are available 24 hours a day and include some of the most popular services that people need. With automated services, you can request a benefit verification (proof of income) letter, replace a lost SSA-1099 (tax summary needed for taxes), request a replacement Medicare card, ask for form SSA-1020 to apply for help with Medicare prescription drug costs, or request an SS-5 application for a Social Security card.
When our automated services ask such things as, “How can I help you?” Just say, “Get a proof of income letter” or “Replace Medicare card.” Next, you will be asked for some personal information to identify yourself, then we will respond to your request. We will mail you the document or form you requested. It takes less time to use automated services than to reach a representative by phone on a busy day.
Sometimes, you just need Social Security information such as, “What date will my check arrive?” or “What is the SSI program?” Automated services feature some informational messages about these popular topics. If payment delivery date is the type of info you need, when asked “How can I help you?” just reply “Payment delivery date.” You will hear a recorded message stating the current month and the future month’s payment dates. Other topics include direct deposit, SSI messages, the cost-of-living adjustment, Medicare prescription drug program, tax information, representative payee, and fraud. Dial, and listen — what a simple way to stay informed.
Whether you use our automated services, speak to a representative by phone, use our website, or visit an office, Social Security wants to connect with you. Connection is a vital part of helping you secure your today and tomorrow. To connect with us through our automated services, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/phone.html.