Social Security has introduced a redesign for its My Social Security portal.
“It’s now easier for your clients who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to do business with us online and find the information that they need,” the agency said in its newsletter.
“With the new design, people who receive Social Security benefits or SSI are now able to update their telephone number online and see more information under the Benefits and Payments section. People who receive Social Security benefits can also change their address and direct deposit information under the My Profile tab.”
Current and potential Social Security recipients can use the portal for various functions, from requesting a replacement Social Security card to getting estimates for future benefits to checking their application status.
In addition, the portal allows recipients to set up direct deposits, change their address, and more.
The changes come just after the tenth anniversary of the initial launch of My Social Security, which the agency marked in a June blog post.
“Since then, we’ve added many features that make doing business online with Social Security easier for most people with access to the internet. Today, nearly 70 million people have signed up for a My Social Security account to conduct their business online securely and conveniently,” the agency said.
The Social Security Administration also warned of an impersonation scam in its newsletter.
“New reports show that scammers are reviving an old tactic to gain your client’s trust. Scammers are emailing and texting pictures of real and doctored law enforcement credentials and badges to potential victims,” SSA warned. "They do this to ‘prove’ that they are legitimate and scam people out of money. Scammers may change the picture or use a different name, agency, or badge number, but the basic scam is the same.”
The agency warned not to fall for the scam and to stay on the lookout for signs of it.
“Federal law enforcement agencies are warning the public to be skeptical of emails and text messages claiming to be from a government or law enforcement agency. No one in federal law enforcement will send photographs of credentials or badges to demand any kind of payment, and neither will government employees.”
Also this week, the Associated Press published a fact-check that showed that, despite recent statements by journalist Lara Logan, U.S. Border Patrol agents are not handing out Social Security numbers to immigrants at the border.
“U.S. Border Patrol does not possess the capability or authority to issue Social Security numbers, and therefore does not issue Social Security numbers to non-citizens who crossed the border,” a spokesperson for the agency told the Associated Press. The report added that “Immigrants living in the U.S. illegally aren’t eligible for Social Security numbers unless they meet certain criteria, experts say.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.