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How to Check Your Social Security Benefits

Photo credit: jb

A reader of this blog recently suggested that it might be helpful to include an article on how to check up on your Social Security benefits. Long ago, we used to receive a paper statement of Social Security benefits in the mail each year, but that has changed. Now, you might receive a mailed paper statement right around your 60th birthday, but it’s very simple to check your benefits at any time via Social Security’s website.

It’s quite simple to check out your up-to-date information in the Social Security system – at least the retirement estimates. Simply go to the Social Security website, and select “Create Your Own my Social Security Account Today” – if you haven’t already created your own account. If you have already created an account, just skip down to Checking Your Benefit.

You’ll then be asked to fill in your information, including your Social Security number, birth date, and other pertinent information. Following the instructions, you’ll soon have your my Social Security account created.

Checking Your Benefit

Now you can log in to the account. This will be a two-step verification process, where they’ll send you a code on your email that you’ll have to submit in order to complete the login process. Then you’re in!

Once you’ve logged in, you can look at your Social Security statement, in order to estimate your retirement benefits and other possible benefits, as well as to review your earnings history to make sure all of the information is correct. The information on earnings in the statement is condensed, but you can view the complete earnings history via the online system (not a .pdf as the statement is).

You can do lots of other things once you’ve set up your account, including filing for benefits when you’re ready to do so. You can order a replacement card, estimate your retirement benefits in various scenarios, and much more.

So that’s all there is to it! Reviewing your Social Security benefits regularly is a good idea, so you can get a good idea of what benefits you can expect, as well as note how recent earnings has an impact on the future benefits estimates.

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