Are you a little confused as to how Social Security will contact you about retirement benefits?
There are various methods the Social Security Administration uses for communication.
It’s not complicated. But we all need to be conscientious.
In addition to discussing how Social Security will contact you, I’ll give tips on ways to prevent getting scammed.
But first, I think it’s important to emphasize that the Social Security Administration does not contact you about retirement benefits until you initiate communication with them.
Although you may have received annual earnings statements, it’s up to you to apply for your Social Security retirement benefits.
This applies to Medicare as well.
Therefore, if you need to do that, My Social Security is the best place to go for information. It’s thorough and you should be able to find answers to your questions.
With that said, there are 3 methods that the Social Security Administration uses for communication.
However, it must be emphasized that the official method of correspondence is by letter through the United States Postal Service.
The other two methods are by phone and email.
Let’s take a look to see how this works.
1. Receiving Mail from Social Security
Receiving a letter from Social Security is the most common way that you’ll hear from them.
However, there’s a good deal of government look-alike mail floating around.
Having said that, it makes sense to sift through all official-looking mail when it’s received. Take a minute to confirm that it’s real.
The letter may be an advertisement, or worse – a scam to part you with your money.
First, take a look at the envelope.
Mail from Social Security has an official logo, a verifiable return address, and an indicia issued by the United States Postal Service.
Next, look at the letter. The official letterhead will include your name, address, Social Security number, and a reference or claim number.
Then, carefully read the enclosed documents. Look for the fine print. If everything looks in order, you’re good to go.
However, if you are suspicious about any mail you’ve received, don’t respond to the documents.
Give Social Security a call. You can reach their customer service by calling their toll free number.
It’s simple enough to contact them for verification about the documents you’ve received.
If something looks deceptive, it probably is.
When in doubt, find out.
2. Social Security may contact you by phone.
A representative from Social Security may contact you by phone.
However, it’s only after you’ve contacted them and left an invitation for a representative to return the call.
For example, after applying for spousal benefits, a representative called to get clarification concerning my application.
I had left a message and expected a return call.
The critical thing to remember here is that the only time you’ll be contacted by phone is when you’ve already contacted them.
Take a look at this article on Social Security’s website. It gives some pointers on how to recognize scammers posing as representatives calling from the Social Security Administration.
The article goes into greater detail. But here are the takeaways.
- Stay vigilant – keep a sharp eye out for scammers claiming you should take immediate action
- Remember that you are in control – don’t be afraid to hang up
- Never provide the caller with sensitive information such as your social security number
Will Social Security ever contact me by email?
Anything I’ve received from the Social Security Administration has either been by mail or phone call.
For that reason, I would be leery if they contacted me via email.
However, I’ve not initiated any communications that way.
With that said, the Social Security Administration has an email support team to answer questions that can’t be found by other means such as searching their website or visiting a local office.
Again, this method of correspondence is initiated by you.
Better to be safe, than sorry. Don’t respond to an email claiming to be from Social Security unless you’re certain it’s authentic.
If you do contact Social Security by email, they ask that you do not include your social security number in the correspondence.
Want to send an email to SS? Follow this link to contact their support team.
The Social Security Administration does not contact you about retirement benefits until you initiate communication with them.
This could be through applying for social security benefits, medicare, or an inquiry of any kind you may have.
After communication is established, you may receive correspondence regarding your particular situation. It could come in the form of a letter, phone call, or email.
The best practice is to stay vigilant against scammers and to contact the Social Security Administration if in doubt about a correspondence.
Do you have an experience you’d like to add to this conversation? Please share it in the comments below.