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Social Security has online services

Michael Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, announced that the agency is expanding online services available with a my Social Security account, a personalized online account that people can use until the time they receive Social Security benefits.

More than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history, and earnings record instantly using their online account.

Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients with a my Social Security account can go online and instantly get an official benefit verification letter.

The letter serves as proof of income to secure loans, mortgages and other housing, and state or local benefits. Additionally, the letter can prove current Medicare health insurance coverage, retirement or disability status and age.

This new online service allows people to conduct business with Social Security without having to visit an office, make a phone call or wait for a letter. It will also reduce the time spent by employees completing these requests.

People age 18 or older can sign up for an account at www.socialsecurity.

gov/myaccount. After completing the secure verification process, people can create a my Social Security account with a unique username and password to access their information.

People age 18 or older who are not receiving benefits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get a personalized online Social Security statement.

The statement provides eligible workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.

For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.