Originally Published: May 15, 2007 1:59 p.m.
Even when change is necessary or desirable, making changes can be difficult.
Here, then, is some useful advice for any Social Security beneficiary who is thinking about opening a new bank account or changing banks and who may need to change the direct deposit of his or her benefit payments. Just go online to make the process quicker and easier.
First, you will need to get a password from Social Security. You can get a password by applying online at www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Once you have your password, you can do business with Social Security with total confidence in the security of your transactions.
Of course, you can also change direct deposit services by:
using our automated phone service at 1-800-772-1213;
filling out a direct deposit sign-up form that is available from the Social Security Web site and taking it to your financial institution or Social Security office; or
contacting your bank, credit union or savings and loan association.
You can use any of these methods to set up direct deposit for the first time. However you choose to start or make changes in the direct deposit of your Social Security benefit payments, you can make the process run smoothly by having your Social Security number and a personal check or bank statement handy. Also, we recommend that you wait until deposits are actually going to your new bank, savings and loan or credit union before you close your old account.
One of the most common reasons for changing banking accounts is because a person has moved to a new address and wants to bank at a nearby institution. It is important for Social Security to have your correct home address, even if you are having your Social Security benefits deposited directly into a banking account, so that we can contact you about other Social Security matters, such as when we mail you your Form 1099 each year.
You also can change your home address and/or telephone number over the Internet at www.socialsecurity.gov. Again, you can use your password to change your address online. Or you can change your address online by answering a series of specific questions whose answers have to match the information in our records. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
But why not do it online - a fast, easy, convenient and safe way to do business with Social Security.
Gene Moreno is manager of the Social Security office in Prescott.