The Social Security Administration issues Social Security numbers for American citizens, permanent residents and certain categories of alien workers. For the majority of Americans, their parent's address became their default address at birth. For anyone else who applies for a SSN, the address on their application becomes the address of record. You keep your SSN forever regardless of how often you move or change jobs.
Normally, you won't need to inform the SSA of any address change until you start to receive Social Security benefits or become eligible to enroll in Medicare. When the need arises, make your Social Security address change online or in person, depending on your preferences and current location.
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Who Needs SSA Address Change?
SSA manages several types of benefits. Until you become eligible for one of these benefits, you shouldn't need to update your address with the SSA. The primary recipients that should consider an SSA address change are people who receive SSA benefits for survivors, disability, supplemental security income and retirement payments. However, if your address is incorrect, you might miss important updates from SSA about your account if they go to an invalid address.
Completing an address change won't affect your payments if you are one of the millions of people who receive their benefits by direct deposit to a bank account or another electronic option, such as a debit card. If you change banks or your benefit payment method, you need to contact the SSA to update this information separately.
In-Person SSA Address Change
Any current SSA benefit recipient and anyone who wants to start receiving SSA benefits can visit an SSA office in their area. Locate the closest SSA office to you by using the Social Security Office Locator website. Simply enter your ZIP code to find a local SSA office and see their hours. The locator also provides directions to your local office, but the SSA does not provide phone numbers for area offices.
If you don't have internet or prefer to call, use the SSA's main phone contact number at 1-800-772-1213 at any time. Staff answer this number weekdays only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but recorded information is available through this number 24-hours a day. Follow the voice prompts to get information about an office near you.
Online SSA Address Change
Creating an online account at SSA is one of the most efficient and convenient ways to change your address and track any SSA benefits. To use the online address change option, register at SSA's My Social Security portal. After you complete your registration, log into your account and visit the My Profile tab to make address changes. Currently, SSI disability recipients can register at the portal, but will not have the option to make address changes.
Americans Living Abroad
You cannot make your SSA address change online if you are an American benefit recipient living outside the U.S. who doesn't have a U.S. mailing address. To get assistance, contact the Federal Benefit Unit at the U.S. embassy in your country of residence.
SSA also has designated phone numbers that American benefit recipients abroad can use to call them. The SSA publication "Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States" lists the numbers to use. The appropriate number depends on the last two digits of your SSN. These are not toll-free numbers. This document also provides an address for recipients who wish to contact SSA by mail.