SSA introduces new personalized online statements

The Social Security Administration is now allowing millions of American adults with Social Security numbers to register with the agency online and access a personalized statement about their reported income and anticipated benefits.

Since the debut of the online Social Security Statement last week, about 130,000 people have created online accounts at SSA.gov allowing them online access to their statements.

Michael Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, said the new online statement is easy to use provides useful information for financial planning.

“I am pleased with the public’s initial response to our new online Social Security Statement,” Astrue said in a news release on May 7. “People should get in the habit of checking their online statement each year.”

However, some citizens are expected to have problems registering for the new service. The SSA confirmed that some individuals are likely to be unsuccessful in registering for an online account if the personal information they submit does not match what is contained in SSA’s records. The agency did not specify how many people might be affected by verification problems.

Some people may not be able to correctly answer the security questions they are asked in the registration; the questions are based on information about the individual that the SSA already has on file, the agency said. Other people may supply identifying information that differs from what the SSA has on file.

“In instances where this occurs, people will have the option to request a paper Social Security Statement be mailed to them. People who cannot verify online initially also may visit their local Social Security office and present an identity document in order to create an account and gain access to the online version of the statement,” the SSA said in a statement.

Historically, the SSA database has been known to contain a number of errors, primarily due to unauthorized individuals who steal or borrow Social Security numbers. For example, the Homeland Security Department’s E-Verify program has an a initial error rate of 2.6 percent, according to a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office. The E-Verify program primarily relies on the SSA database for its identity verification.Many of the initial errors are later corrected with further adjudication and additional data.

A December 2009 study found that half the unauthorized users of E-Verify were undetected by the system, suggesting that many users were using lost, stolen or borrowed Social Security numbers.

SSA officials did not respond to a request for comment about current error rates in the SSA database and anticipated problems related to those error rates.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.