How To Change Your Address With Social Security

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Moving is an exciting time, but amidst the packing and planning, one crucial detail can get overlooked: updating your address with Social Security. For those who receive Social Security benefits, keeping your address current ensures timely delivery of important notices and payments.

While changing your address can be completed online for those receiving benefits, there are several different options for those who are currently ineligible or unable to access the online portal.

We’ll take a look at the easiest method (updating online) and several alternatives below. 

The Simplest Method: Updating Your Address Online

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If you want to continue receiving your benefits without interruption, it’s vital that you keep your address updated.

If you receive any sort of Social Security benefit (or are enrolled in Medicare), the quickest way to change your address is online. This can be done through your Social Security account. It’s very fast and convenient, and you can do it at any time. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to updating your address online:

  1. Create an Account (if needed): Most benefit recipients should already have an account online. For information on how Social Security works and how to apply, check out our Social Security hub. You can create an account online at any time as long as you’re over 18 and have a Social Security number. Simply go to the SSA account page
  2. Access “My Profile”: Once you’re logged in and have an account, navigate to the “My Profile” section of your account.
  3. Update Your Contact Information: Within the “My Profile” section, you’ll find an option to update your contact information. 
  4. Choose an Effective Date: If you aren’t moving quite yet, you can choose the date when you want the address change to take effect. 

That’s it! Your address should be changed, and you can continue to receive benefits without any interruption. 

Alternative Methods for Changing Your Address

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If you cannot change your Social Security address online for one reason or another, there are two other options.

The online method is the option we absolutely recommend. However, there are some situations when you may not be able to. Here are some situations where an alternative may be needed:

  • Your Don’t Receive Benefits: If you don’t currently receive any sort of benefits and aren’t enrolled in Medicare, you cannot use the online option. 
  • Receiving SSI: The Social Security Administration administers Supplemental Security Income, but you can’t change your address online if you receive it. SSI is different from disability benefits. If you aren’t sure which one you are receiving, check out this guide for everything you need to know about Social Security disability benefits and how they differ from SSI.
  • Personal Preference: Some people may prefer to update their address via a different method. 

Luckily, the Social Security Administration offers several alternative methods to ensure your address gets updated. These require a bit more legwork, though. 

Changing Your Address by Phone

You can change your address as a whole. During the call, the representative will ask about your Social Security number, past address, and current address. You should have this information available before you call. 

You can find all of the current contact information on the SSA website. 

Changing Your Address in Person

Use the SSA office locator tool to locate your nearest Social Security office. Of course, it’s typically best to do what you can online to save yourself the trip. However, as we’ve discussed, this isn’t always possible. 

If you don’t like talking on the phone, this is the best option! You may want to consider making an appointment, though, as wait times can be long in some areas. 

Common Questions and Concerns

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Technology doesn’t always do what we want it to! Troubleshooting may end up being part of the process.

While we’d all like this process to be smooth and easy, there is a chance for hiccups along the way. Here are some quick questions that we’ve run into over the years:

Is the online method secure?

Absolutely! The Social Security Administration keeps all information online, utilizing strong security measures to protect personal information. Your Social Security account is the fastest way to change your address and the option that we specifically recommend!

How long does it take for the address change to take effect online?

It can take several days for the change to become reflected online. If it takes longer than three days, though, we recommend calling a Social Security agent. You should plan ahead and make the change well ahead of time. Because the change takes a few days to occur, you do need to change it before you move in many cases. 

I’m worried I’ll miss important mail during the transition period. What can I do?

To minimize disruption, consider submitting your change of address with Social Security a few weeks before your move. You can set a specific date for the address change, allowing you to change it ahead of time. 

If you’re particularly worried, a forwarding order to the United States Postal Service can help redirect your mail to your new address. 

Trouble creating a Social Security Account?

Sometimes, people run into hiccups creating an online account. We absolutely recommend having an online account if you receive any benefits, so troubleshooting these problems is important! Many people these days apply online, and we have a comprehensive explainer on how to apply for Social Security benefits if you’re still in the early stages. Having an online account is necessary to apply online.

When troubleshooting, ensure you meet the two eligibility requirements: being 18+ and having a valid Social Security number. 

If you check those two boxes and still experience problems, consider calling a Social Security agent to help you troubleshoot further. 

Technical Difficulties?

Sadly, technical difficulties are common on the Social Security Administration website. Technology can always act up, even when you’re just trying to change your address. If you have issues, start by clearing your browser cache and cookies. If the problem persists, try a different browser altogether. Some can act funky on the Social Security website. 

If the problem persists, jumping on the phone is often easier than troubleshooting further. 

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