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Social Security Hears From Seniors Loud and Clear – Backing Off Requirement of Cell Phones to Access Records

A couple of weeks ago in this space, we wrote about the decision of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to require seniors to use texting on their cell phones to access their records online.

It didn’t seem like a great idea at the time. Many aged and disabled individuals do not have cell phones. Those with cell phones are not proficient at using texting features. According to a 2014 study from Pew Research Center, almost a quarter of people age 65 and older in the United States do not have a cell phone at all, much less one that is best equipped for texting.

More than a few complained.

“Who’s the youngster who dreamed up the idea of text messaging for senior citizens,” Franklin, 73, and Janice Moses, 70, of Arlington, asked in an email to the Federal Insider.

SSA officials got the message (not by text by the way) and reversed course. At least temporarily.

A message on the Social Security Administration web site now says: We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting.

Apparently now the SSA is looking at an alternate method of verifying accounts online with the entire idea being to assure additional security. That idea should be unveiled within six months.

For now seniors or anyone else that wishes to access their Social Security records online can go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and insert their username and password. If an individual does not have one, an account can be set up at this same site.

 

Our goal at the Stinson Law Firm is to secure your present and future and leave you with the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today. We can help you through the sometimes difficult maze of properly planning your estate to optimize benefits in your golden years.

 

Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.

Jeffery D. Stinson, Certified Elder Law Attorney
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.