Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please visit our SSN webpage to find out how you can apply for a new, replacement, or corrected Social Security Number (SSN) Card.

IMPORTANT: Do not mail original documents to the Social Security Administration’s Central Office in Baltimore, Maryland. We cannot guarantee the safe return of documents mailed to the U.S.

When you apply for benefits or a Social Security Number card, we require that you submit either original documents or certified copies in support of your application.

To submit an original document, you may send it via courier service (e.g., UPS, DHL or FedEx). To guarantee the secure return of your document, you may provide us with a pre-paid return label issued by your courier service provider of choice.

If you prefer not to send your original documents, you may have them certified at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. You should schedule an appointment with the nearest American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate servicing your area. On your appointment, you will need to present the original documents to the ACS representative and inform them that you need certified copies as part of your application for federal benefits. This certification service is free of charge. Once you have obtained certified copies of your documents, you will need to mail them to our office.

If you are applying for retirement benefits, you can check you latest statement, review your earnings history and see your benefit estimates through your mySocialSecurity account. To create an account, visit SSA’s website.

Alternatively, you may contact us and provide us with the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Your address (including postal code)
  • Your contact number during business hours

The following benefit applications are available online. Applying online is fast and easy!

Alternatively, you may contact us and provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Your address (including postal code)
  • Your contact number during business hours

You may estimate your future benefit using SSA’s Retirement Estimator.

To report a change of address, you will need to contact us and provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Your old address
  • Your new address (including postal code)
  • Your contact number during business hours

If you are residing outside the U.S. for more than three (3) months, you should report your foreign address to avoid the possible interruption of benefit payments.

Until you actually apply for benefits, we do not keep a record of your address. Social Security uses the latest address provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in mailing your Social Security Statement. The address on your Social Security Statement will be automatically updated when you file your next U.S. Tax Return. Alternatively, you can correct your address by completing IRS Form 8822 (PDF 77 KB) and mailing it to the IRS.

If you wish to have your benefits directly deposited into a bank account in the U.S., you will need to contact us and provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Name and address of your bank in the U.S.
  • Your U.S. Bank Account Number and Routing Number
  • Type of Account (Savings or Checking)

If you wish to have your benefits directly deposited into a foreign bank account, you will need to complete the appropriate SSA-1199 form and submit it to us via email, facsimile or postal mail. If you have questions about International Direct Deposit enrollment, please contact us.

If you receive benefit payments by paper check, you must wait until the 25th day of the month to contact us and report that the paper check is missing. We cannot take action until this date. As such, we strongly encourage beneficiaries to enroll in direct deposit to ensure the timely payment of benefits.

If you receive benefit payments by direct deposit, please contact your bank first. They may be experiencing a delay in posting your payment. You may contact us if the payment has not reached your bank account by the 10th day of the month.


If you do not receive a payment in February, your benefits may have been suspended because we did not receive your Annual Questionnaire. In this situation, you should contact us immediately so that we may review your case and assist you.

To report the death of a beneficiary, you will need to contact us and provide the following:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Name of the reporter
  • Reporter’s relationship to the deceased
  • Reporter’s contact number during business hours
  • Next of kin (if known)

We may ask you to submit a death certificate; however, it is important that you do not wait for the death certificate to be available before reporting the death of a beneficiary. The death must be reported as soon as possible to prevent an overpayment. Any payment sent after the beneficiary’s death must be returned to Social Security.

If someone you know needs assistance managing their Social Security benefits, you should contact us and we will help you apply to become their Representative Payee. For more information about Representative Payees and their responsibilities, please visit SSA’s website.

If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you can send us a completed Form CMS-40B.

If you are not receiving Social Security benefits and you wish to sign up for Medicare, you may do so using our online application.

You may send us a completed Form CMS-1763 or a written request to terminate Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). The written request must include your full name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and your signature. Since voluntarily terminating Medicare Part B is an important decision, you may want to contact us by phone or in-person to discuss your situation before we process your request.

If you terminate Medicare Part B and later wish to re-enroll, please visit this link for the enrollment periods available to you. Generally, you can enroll in Medicare Part B from January 1st to March 31st of each year and your coverage will begin on July 1st of that year.

NOTE: If you have TRICARE, you need Medicare Part B to continue your TRICARE coverage.

If you have a U.S., APO, DPO or FPO mailing address, you may obtain your Social Security Statement online. To do so, you will first need to create a mySocialSecurity account. If you encounter any problem with the verification process, you must contact us and present proof of your identity.

A mySocialSecurity account allows you to:

  • Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year
  • Obtain an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working
  • Obtain a letter with proof of benefits you are currently receiving
  • Manage your benefits, including:
  • Change your address
  • Start or change your direct deposit
  • Obtain a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S

If you are unable to establish a mySocialSecurity account, you may request a Social Security Statement by completing the Form SSA-7004 (PDF 667 KB) and mailing it to:

Social Security Administration
Wilkes Barre Data Operations Center
P.O. Box 7004
Wilkes Barre, PA 18767-7004

Please allow up to four months to receive a response to your request.

If you need to apply for a foreign pension, you will need to obtain a detailed earnings record from the Social Security Administration. You may request a detailed earnings record by completing Form SSA-7050-F4 (PDF 94 KB) and mailing it, along with the applicable fees, to:

Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 33011
Baltimore, Maryland 21290-33011

For instructions on how to complete the form and to see a list of fees, please visit SSA’s website. The Division of Earnings Record Operations is the only component that is authorized to release this information. Please allow up to six months to receive a response to your request.