Gray Matter


The Social Security Administration and the Online Website

RT Cunningham | September 3, 2020 (UTC) | Finance

Social Security AdministrationBoth my wife, Josie, and I have just a few short years before being able to retire with social security pensions. We obviously want to know what our monthly payments will look like.

The first time I tried to create an account at my Social Security in 2018, I was unsuccessful. I was successful when I tried again in August 2020. Josie’s attempts were unsuccessful until today.

The Social Security Administration Website

Both of our initial attempts to register generated notices that included “We cannot verify the information you provided.” at the top of the screen. Since everything that was asked of us on the screens was 100 percent correct, we were perplexed.

We gave up on it back in 2018 since we had a lot of time remaining. The reason we started trying again recently is that we have to plan for our future. A future that isn’t as certain as it once was.

Reasons for the Website Failures

After making numerous calls to social security offices to get our accounts “unlocked”, I learned a few of the reasons behind the failures. In 2018, I had no credit record in the United States. I closed all my bank accounts in the United States in 2006. They had nothing to verify the address I gave them was correct. I now have credit records, and they’re in excellent shape.

Josie has lived in several places since 2006, including the Philippines. Her three credit records conflict with each other. Each one lists her present address as a different place. Her driver’s license, which expires in 2026, has one of those addresses on it. Her attempt to create an account with it as the basis of her identity was successful. She had to use my credit card number as if it was hers.

A Paranoid Level Website

We left the Philippines in June 2018, and we’ve been stuck here ever since with either our son, Joe, where he lives or our other son, Jon, where he lives. The COVID-19 nonsense that we would have to endure if we chose to go back to the Philippines isn’t something we want to participate in. So we’ll probably be somewhere in the United States until this all blows over.

It’s fortunate that we came to the United States. I couldn’t do any of this from the Philippines. The Social Security website requires a residential address in the United States and a phone number in the United States. They probably record the IP address when accessing the website as well. I renewed my driver’s license here in Hawaii, which made it much easier for me than it was for Josie.

When the time comes, I’ll probably have to apply for social security benefits somewhere in the United States or at the U.S. Citizen Services area at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. I’ve been told, by various people, to apply three months before my birthday. According to the website itself, I should be able to apply online. I may have to be in the United States in order to do so.

Neither of us will get very much for our social security pensions compared to some people we know. That’s okay. I’m already getting by on my military pension alone. Both of our social security pensions combined with it should enable us to do more than just get by for the rest of our lives.

Photo Attribution: U.S. Government / Public domain
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in September 2018.

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