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May 1, 2012

Online Social Security Statements

     Social Security has sent out a press release announcing that it is now possible to obtain an online Social Security statement. I forget how long ago it was but I am pretty sure that Social Security made these statements available online briefly in the past until privacy concerns forced them to cancel the service. My recollection is that the service was cancelled even though there were no reports that anyone had improperly obtained private information; there was just speculation that it might happen.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) tested an online response to the Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (formerly known as PEBES) in March 1997. Although most people felt that the authentication and security measures that SSA employed were adequate, concerns were expressed in early April 1997 by some members of the public, Congress, and the news media about the impact of the online service on the privacy of Social Security records.

    The primary fault found with the online Social Security Statement application was that one person could access another individual's personal record if the first individual knew the second person's personal authenticating information. Further, it was held that the information needed to answer these questions was relatively easy to obtain from sources other than SSA.

    Because of the concerns, the Commissioner of Social Security announced on April 9, 1997, that he would suspend the interactive Social Security Statement, which had then been available for approximately one month.

    5:52 PM, May 01, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So, I'm a SS ALJ, and apparently don't know my info well enough to pass the test to get to the statement. I'm pretty sure I know my name, DOB, SS# and address

    "We cannot verify the information you provided. Please correct your information and try again."

    9:23 PM, May 01, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "I'm pretty sure I know my name, DOB, SS# and address"

    I would call the SSA 800 number to review your SSN record. Probably an error that you don't know about with your name or DOB.

    9:47 PM, May 01, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I, too, am an ALJ and did get in. Strange thing, they asked some very unusual information about banking and mortages. Our mortgage was bought out a few years back and they were aware of that. Very, very strange the things they knew and asked. Once in the program seems very good and straight forward as far as benefits and earnings. Hummmm?

    9:49 PM, May 01, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Sounds like they ask questions like when you are trying to access your credit report. I imagine they are tied somehow to a credit reporting agency to get the answers to those personal questions.

    10:25 PM, May 01, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Those questions come from Experian.

    8:04 AM, May 02, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I couldn't log in to my own record either. I was unable to guess successfully how SSA had my name in their records. I had to call them to find out.

    In another incident, some years ago, I had to bring documentation to the local FO because SSA had changed my date of birth when updating my record after I got married and changed my name. The scary part about this is how they insisted that I must have provided them with the wrong date of birth in my application.

    Now that I'm representing claimants before SSA for a living, all of this has begun to make sense.

    9:44 AM, May 02, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Here is a link to the Experian ID service used by the system which, in conjunction with SSA records, is used to verify the identity of people who want to access their SSA statement:


    10:47 AM, May 02, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am an SSA employee, a CR. I had no problems setting up my online account. As previously posted, probably an issue with Experian since the security questions are derived from their records.

    On a good note, I found the online profile easy to use and informative. The agency did a good job.

    12:00 AM, May 03, 2012  

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