The holiday season is here, and many people will be singing along with their favorite seasonal songs.
So go ahead — sing your Jingle Bells and ring your Silver Bells. But hold your calls if your business can wait until after the holidays.
For years, Social Security has told the public that the busiest time for our field offices and for our toll free telephone number is early in the week and early in the month, so if your business can wait, it’s best to contact us at other times. The same advice applies to the holiday time — especially the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s. So if you must do business with Social Security during the holidays, you may experience more busy signals and longer wait times.
As an alternative, we suggest you consider going online to www.socialsecurity.gov, where we have a wealth of information and online services available. You can apply online for retirement or disability benefits, or check on the status of your pending application. If you are already a Social Security beneficiary, you can go online to change your address, phone number, or your direct deposit information, get a replacement Medicare card, or request a proof of income letter.
If you get an opportunity to visit our website at www.social security.gov, you may save yourself a call or a trip altogether. But if you do need to speak to a Social Security representative, we’ll be there for you.
About Social Security online services
If you are one of the many Americans who may have to conduct business with Social Security over the holiday season, it is good to know that you can use our online services without having to worry about opening or closing times. That means you can handle your holiday shopping and planning with one less time constraint or worry — and one less “shopping line” to wait in.
Some of the services available online at www.socialsecurity.gov include:
• Applying for retirement or disability benefits;
• Checking the status of your pending application;
• Getting an instant, personalized estimate of your future retirement benefits using the Retirement Estimator; and
• Applying for extra help for Medicare prescription drug plan costs available to some beneficiaries.
If you are already a Social Security beneficiary, you can go online to change your address, phone number, or your direct deposit information, get a replacement Medicare card, or request a proof of income letter.
Social Security’s online services are available each workday from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m.; on Saturdays, from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.; and on Sundays from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. And the online services are available even on federal holidays — including Christmas and New Year’s Day — from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. So if you have business to take care of on the holiday, our online services are here for you. All times are Eastern Standard Time and some online services have extended hours. You can find the individual operating hours for different online services at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices
In addition to these interactive services, there is a wealth of information available 24 hours a day on our website that can help answer your questions and get you the information you need, including frequently asked questions, publications and forms, information for specific groups, news and press releases, and even videos and public service announcements. You can find it all at www.socialsecurity.gov.
So remember: while banks and other offices in the private sector and in government are closed for the holidays, Social Security’s online office is open and ready to assist you.
To see a complete list of the online services available, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.