Whether you have recently married, divorced, or changed your name for any other reason, you need to notify social security. If it has been a long time since you last changed your details, you need to know how to fill out the form correctly. Even the smallest of mistakes cause social security to reject applications.
Why Do I Need to Alert Social Security of a Name Change?
If you are self-employed, social security needs to have your most up-to-date personal information to track your history of earnings.
If this is not accurate, it can affect your benefits upon retirement. Also, this might well be decades away so when the time comes, making it difficult to remember why your benefits are not what you thought they should be. What you receive upon retirement depends on your earnings throughout your life. If these are recorded incorrectly, you could be missing out.
How Do I Alert Social Security of My Name Change?
When it comes to name changes, there is a certain amount of paperwork required to make sure everything you have is in the right name. Whether it is your bank, your passport, or social security card, there is always a form or two involved. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is no different. There are a few ways you can apply, including the following:
Apply at Your Local Social Security Office
This means waiting in line, possibly for hours. Some people take valuable holiday time from work to do this which many people would consider a waste. If you go down this route, you may have to wait again if you have any questions, the whole process can take some time. Be careful if you choose this approach, mistakes are common. Even using the wrong color ink will see your application rejected upon its return.
Apply Via the SSA Online
As with filling out the form manually, filling it out online via the SSA website can lead to mistakes. For starters, a lot of the terminology is confusing and is not explained too well. The usual time for it to be returned is within two weeks. However, make a mistake, and it is not unusual for it to be months.
Third-Party Online Social Security Application
Another method is using a third party. This is the best approach if accuracy is important. When it comes to a name change, you might be sending different forms to different places to make sure your name change is all finished.
If you want a new social security card with your name on it, but don’t want any fuss then a third party explain every step in a simple way. They also help you to include the right documents to support your application.
Whichever approach you choose, it is always good to make sure your details are up to date. This is the best way of making sure you don’t have any issues further down the line.