Guest column: Get your benefit verification letter online
Do you need a letter from Social Security verifying your benefits? The fastest, easiest, most convenient way to get a benefit verification letter these days is to go online to www.socialsecurity.gov.
You may need a benefit verification letter for a number of reasons. Perhaps you need proof of income for a loan or to verify your monthly income for housing, or state or local benefits. You may need proof of your current Medicare health insurance status. In some cases, a person may need proof of retirement status, disability status or age. For any of these situations, a benefit verification letter will provide the proof you need.
Sometimes a benefit verification letter is called a budget letter, benefits letter, proof of income letter or proof of award letter. Don’t let the different titles confuse you; they are all the same thing: a benefit verification letter. Whatever the reason you need your benefit verification letter, you can get yours immediately online for free.
To get your benefit verification letter, simply visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and set up a my Social Security account. To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give us answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. They are the same types of questions you would encounter if you were trying to open an online account at a financial institution or obtain your credit report.
Next, you create a unique username and password that you will use to access your online account. This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private.
Once you’ve established your account, it will be simple for you to come back and transact business with Social Security in the future. For example, in addition to getting another benefit verification letter in the next year or two, you can check your benefit and payment information as well as your earnings record. You also can change your address, phone number and direct deposit information.
So remember: there’s no need to fight traffic and visit a busy government office in order to obtain proof of your benefits. Simply visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and establish a my Social Security account so you can obtain your benefit verification letter online in a matter of minutes.
(Elizabeth Gildea is the Social Security manager in Ames.)