News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 17, 2009

Social Security’s 800 number: A history of service

By Brian Hewitt

Today, most adults in America carry a cell phone. If they don’t, they probably have a landline phone at home. Although millions of people go online each year and take advantage of our convenient services at www.socialsecurity.gov, we still offer a full range of services over the telephone too.

That’s an important thing to remember when you need to do business with Social Security. You can conduct many business transactions with our automated telephone services 24/7. Simply dial 1-800-772-1213. And by calling that same number, you can talk with a Social Security representative from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Our toll-free 800 number service, which marked its 20th anniversary late last year, has now answered over one billion phone calls. Yes, that’s billion with a ‘b!’ And this year alone Social Security will handle more than 60 million calls.

Our phones are busiest early in the week and early in the month, so if your business can wait, it’s best to call at other times. Also, whenever you call, have your Social Security number handy.

Bilingual representatives are available to assist our non-English speaking members of the public.

Do you have a Social Security question or problem and cannot call during normal business hours? Recorded information and many automated services are available 24 hours a day — including weekends and holidays. Callers can use these automated services to report a change of address or telephone number, start or change direct deposit of benefits, request a proof of income letter or a replacement Medicare card, and order some of our most popular public information pamphlets.

Of course, if you have a computer, you may find that the information and services offered online are even more convenient at www.socialsecurity.gov. While you’re online, you can read more about our toll free phone service at www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/services.htm.

But if you don’t have a computer or prefer to do business over the phone, we invite you to call us. Social Security is never more than a phone call away: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).