Most people think of Social Security as a retirement program. Although it is true that most beneficiaries, about 61 percent, receive retirement benefits, many others get Social Security because they are:
- a spouse or a dependent of someone who gets social security
- a widow, widower or child of someone who has died
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for Social Security at any age. Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other government program. Today, more than 44 million people, about one out of every six Americans, collect come kind of Social Security benefits.
How to contact the Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has about 1,300 office in cities and towns across America. You are always welcome to visit the office nearest you or visit them on the Internet.
You can get recorded information 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, by calling Social Security’s toll free number (800) 772-1213. You can speak to a service representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days. The lines are busiest early in the week and early in the month, so if your business can wait, it is best to call at other times. When you call, have your Social Security number handy.
People who are deaf or hearing impaired may call the toll free TTY number, (800) 325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days.
SSA treats all calls confidentially, whether they are made to the toll free number or to one of the local offices. SSA also wants to assure that you receive accurate and courteous service. That is why they have a second Social Security representative monitor some incoming and outgoing telephone calls.