List of Social Security Offices in Rhode Island
On this page, you will find a list of the 5 Social Security office locations in Rhode Island.
If you need help with any Social Security problems in Rhode Island, including questions about your social security benefits or how to get a new social security card, this directory will give you all the information you need.
Choose one of the cities below to find the Social Security office details you need to visit or make an appointment. We provide the local phone number, the address with a map, and the office hours they are open.
Cities in Rhode Island with No Social Security Offices
If you live in a city that doesn't have a Social Security office, you can find your nearest office using the table below, along with the distance from your city.
All adult Americans will at some point in their lives come into contact with the Social Security Agency (SSA) for one reason or another. It may be as simple as dealing with your social security number to claim benefits based on retirement or some disability that may hinder your ability to work.
There are over 1400 Social Security Agency offices nationwide including regional, field, card centers and teleservices locations. Many of these locations are located in major towns and cities. Frequently your local SSA will be busy so it is important to know what you want and what you need to supply in order to get it.
In this post we will look at the services offered by the Social Security Agency and some of the requirements to obtain those services. It is always wise to know the rules at your local SSA offices to make sure you have a quick and trouble free visit.
What Is the Social Security Administration?
The social security administration (SSA) is an independent government agency that administers social security. It is an insurance program that consists of retirement, disability and survivor benefits. In order to qualify for these benefits most workers pay into the system through social security taxes.
The head offices of the social security agency are located in Woodlawn, Maryland and is referred to as the Central Office. There are tens of thousands of workers employed by the social security agency and it is the largest government program in the United States.
It is estimated that by the end of the 2022 fiscal year the agency will have paid out $1.2 trillion in benefits to 66 million citizens and legal residents of the United States. An additional 61 billion is expected in SSI benefits and 7.5 million to low-income individuals.
This government agency is a vital part of the country's economy and without it millions of already struggling Americans would have nothing. It is a program that many have paid into for decades in preparation for retirement and as an insurance policy against sudden disability.
History of the Social Security Agency
On August 14th 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law as part of his New Deal initiative. This led to the creation of the Social Security Board (SSB), a presidentially appointed group of three executives tasked with overseeing the social security program.
With zero budget, staff or even furniture the SSB finally obtained funding from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. It was on October 14th 1936 that the first social security office opened its doors in Austin, Texas.
In January of 1937 social security taxes were first collected. Just a few years later the first social security check was issued to Ida Mary Fuller of Battleboro, Vermont. Ida’s check was dated January 31st 1940 and she received $22.54.
The SSB in 1939 merged with the U.S. Public Health Service, the Civilian Conservation Corp and other government agencies to become the Federal Security Agency. In 1846 under President Harry S. Truman the SSB was named the Social Security Administration SSA.
In 1953 the Federal Security Agency was dismantled and the SSA was placed under the banner of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Finally in 1994 President Bill Clinton made the Social Security Administration an independent body once again.
Field Office Services
The field offices are your everyday walk in the SSA office where you can go to deal with a whole host of requirements. Depending on location you may be able to walk in or you may require an appointment. These offices are frequently busy so setting an appointment may help you save time.
New or Replacement Social Security Cards
Every U.S. citizen or resident alien requires a social security card which comes with its own unique identity number. This number is used to withhold social security taxes from any earned monies of an individual which are then held as insurance for future events.
These funds are collected so that individuals will have a financial safety net if they become unable to work or to supply an income upon retirement. A social security number is a requirement for working any job in the United States.
All U.S. citizens have to apply for a social security number in order to be able to work and this is intended to be their number for the rest of their life. There are however some circumstances which would require a new number to be issued.
A new number may be issued if:
- The number already belongs to another individual (rare but it can happen)
- You are a victim of domestic abuse and need to escape detection by your abuser
- Identity theft to the extent that your social security number is no longer safe to use
- If there is a valid religious objection to the number for example a Christian may object to a number that contained 666
You may not get a new number to escape bankruptcy, extreme debt or consequences of illegal actions. People do try this and it is very much against the rules.
In order to get a social security number you need proof of identity such as a birth certificate or passport. If you are a non citizen you will need to prove you are legally in the country and that you are eligible to work.
Request Changes to Your Social Security Card
You may need to change the name attached to your social security card based on a legal change of name. This may be because you married or legally changed your name for some other reason. This would not change your number but would be required if you were to be using this new name in all other legal aspects of your life.
In order to change the information regarding your name on your social security card you will need proof of the name change which would include official name change documents or a marriage license.
Once you legally change your name with the social security agency it allows you to more easily change your names on other documents such as your passport or driver's license.
You can get a SSN name change to help evade a stalker but this does need a legal court ordered name change.
Review Your Social Security Statement
Many people may not be aware that they can access their personal social security statement to review their earnings history. This can be helpful to assist with taxes and to detect any fraudulent use of your social security number.
Get an Estimate of Your Retirement Benefits
It may be helpful to know based on your social security account how much it is projected you will be entitled to upon your retirement. This is dependent on how much you have paid in and when you are planning to retire.
Get a Copy of Your Proof of Benefits
You can also visit a field office to obtain a copy of your proof of benefits. This may be needed as proof of income for renting a home or obtaining a personal loan.
Applying for Retirement Benefits
The social security agency field office can help you to apply for your retirement benefits. As of July 2022 the earliest you can apply for retirement benefits is 61 years and 9 months. Your first social security check if you qualified would then be issued 4 months later the month after your 62nd birthday.
Applying for SSI or SSDI Benefits
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is a benefit offered to those who due to age or disability are limited in their ability to earn. This may be a personal disability or that of an individual that you have to take care of. It is a supplemental income based on what you already make to help bridge the gap in your household needs.
Social Security Disability Insurance is for individuals who based on their disability are unable to earn money. This is based on former social security payments made prior to the disability. It may be permanent or temporary depending on the situation.
Applying for Social Security Spousal or Survivor Benefits
Seniors whose spouses pass are eligible to receive the benefits of their deceased spouse in addition to their own.
Applying for Medicare
As part of retirement the Medicare program supplies retirees with health coverage which can be applied for via the social security system. You can visit a field office to do this and can also apply for replacement Medicare cards as well should they become lost or damaged.
Set up Direct Deposits for Social Security Benefits
Direct deposit in today's digital world is far more convenient than the old system of checks. The social security field office can help you set up direct deposit of your benefits straight to the bank account of your choosing.
What Can You Do Online?
As mentioned, in person social security offices can be very busy and often stressful places. As such with the world becoming more digital there is an increasing amount that can be done online.
Choosing to do certain things related to social security online can be quicker and far less stressful. There are still many things you have to do in person but there are some simpler tasks that can be done online. Some things may start online but require you to mail in documents to complete the process.
Online you can:
- Review your account
- Apply for benefits
- Make changes to your account
- Request replacement cards
- Get benefit estimates
- Print proof of benefits
- Check status of any applications pending
- Set up or change direct deposit information
- Change Address details
What Should You Do if Your Social Security Number Is Lost or Stolen?
Your social security number (SSN) is unique to you and can be used to file taxes, obtain loans/credit cards and legally work. There is a thriving criminal business in social security fraud so protecting your unique SSN is important.
If your card is lost or stolen it is important to act immediately to protect yourself from potential fraud. Request a replacement card and place a fraud alert on your social security number. It is also wise to monitor your credit report to get an early warning of activity that is not initiated by yourself.
Obtain a unique tax filing code with the IRS so that only you can file your taxes. If someone else has your social security number they can fraudulently file as you and receive the refund that you are entitled to.
It is also important that you are careful who you give your social security number to. It is only required for certain things and you should not give it out over the phone to unknown sources.
Why Should I Make an Appointment?
If you have ever driven past a Social Security Office before it opens in the mornings you probably already know the answer to this question. The lines waiting outside can often circle the entire building and then some.
When you make an appointment you are often able to join a much shorter secondary line and will be waiting a much shorter time to be seen. Those without appointments are at the mercy of the crowds and could be spending hours to complete their business with the SSA.
If you can do what you need to online it is wise to do so rather than visiting an actual office. In the event that you must attend in person make sure you have all the documents required for your purpose. If you are missing something vital you will have to get that document and come back another time.
Along with the Secretary of State and DMV, the Social Security office is likely one of the most frustrating and time consuming aspects of our lives. People seldom look forward to going to the SSA office so be smart about it.
The Social Security Agency offices offer a wide range of services to help you understand your present and future benefits through this government agency. Throughout our working life we pay into the social security system to build up this insurance for our future.
Reference SSA Locator
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"". SSA Locator. Accessed on March 23, 2023. https://ssalocator.com/offices/rhode-island/.
"". SSA Locator, https://ssalocator.com/offices/rhode-island/. Accessed 23 March, 2023
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