Basic Facts About Social Security|
Social Security Payment|
Social Security Branch Offices|
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, west of Baltimore. However, if you have questions about Social Security benefits, disability benefits, or any other issue under the SSA’s jurisdiction, you don’t have to travel to Maryland to sort the matter out in person. The SSA has 10 regional offices, 8 processing centers, roughly 1,300 field offices, and 37 telephone service centers. As of 2007, the agency employed about 62,000 people.
Social security office locator
Finding the field office closest to you is easy. The agency’s website includes an SSA office locator. Simply visit their website at
Please note that you are not required to visit the office indicated by the SSA office locator. You can visit any office you like regarding your enquiry. However, with 1,300 office nationwide, the office locator is likely to return a location that’s an easy drive from your home.
Get most information on the SSA website
Almost any business you may have with the Social Security Administration can be handled at their website. Here, you can download forms, apply for benefits, get or replace a Social Security card, estimate your future benefits, check the status of an application, read publications, appeal an application for disability benefits that was turned down, and more. If you prefer speaking with a representative, you can simply call the Social Security Administration and speak with a trained agent on the phone. However, for some tasks or for complicated matters such as appealing your case if benefits have been refused, it might be best to see a representative in person.
The staff at all SSA service centers are trained to handle most if not all matters that you might bring to their attention. There may be times of the day during which the office is busier than usual, so, even though you don’t need an appointment to visit, it’s best to call first and enquire about the best time to pay a visit.
Replacing a social security card
One task that is best accomplished by visiting a service center is replacing a lost Social Security card. It’s easy to get a new card, but you have to fill out a form (Form SS-5) and provide original documents, which can best be done in person. If you’re missing any required documents, the staff member can tell you right away, so you don’t have to go back and forth through the mail. You may also need a new card if you’ve changed your name, and the paperwork is best done in person.
Applying for disability benefits
Likewise, if you’re applying for disability benefits, the process can be cumbersome, especially if you are initially rejected and wish to appeal the decision. You can manage this process online or over the phone, but if you start out at your local Social Security service center, you will establish a relationship with the staff members there, who will remember you and your particular case as you go along. They are likely to be more helpful as they get to know you and your case. This is a better option than starting over again with a new person each time on the phone — or, even if you are assigned a case officer over the phone, a phone relationship is never the same as face-to-face!
If you anticipate much business with the Social Security Administration — and nearly all Americans have Social Security cards and will become eligible for benefits in retirement or earlier — then use the SSA office locator and find out where your nearest service center is located.