» New Social Security Rule Requires Text-Enabled Cellphones to Access Online Services

New Social Security Rule Requires Text-Enabled Cellphones to Access Online Services

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 27, 2016 - The Social Security Administration (SSA) has introduced a controversial new measure to improve website security.

Individuals who want to manage their benefits online are now required to provide a cellphone number in order to access their “my Social Security” accounts. In addition to their username and password, users must enter an eight-digit security code sent by a text message to their cellphone. A new code is required each time someone logs on to the SSA website as it is valid for only 10 minutes.

Such security practices — known as multifactor authentication — are commonly used by banks, businesses and other organizations in order to protect users and limit unauthorized access. However, they are usually optional. Previously the use of texted codes was optional for SSA users seeking additional security. The extra step is mandatory as of July 30.

“Enhancing online security is a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting users,” said David W. Magann, a prominent attorney in Tampa, Florida, whose firm specializes in Social Security disability law. “However, the SSA should also accommodate beneficiaries who do not own cellphones or text messaging services. Otherwise they risk losing access to their online accounts.”

The requirement has been criticized as not everyone owns cellphones, has text-enabled phones or has access to a reliable cellphone service. Older Americans who do not use cellphones for texting are especially likely to experience frustration. According to the Pew Research Center, around 78 percent of adults age 65 and older own a cellphone as of 2015.

The SSA said it added the authentication process to comply with an executive order requiring federal agencies to boost security for their online services. However, it admitted the new security layer could pose problems for some people.

“We understand that not everyone has a cellphone or cell service,” said Social Security spokeswoman Roxanne Williamson. “This is our first step in adding security, and we expect future enhancements will provide other options.” The SSA said it was currently unable to offer alternatives “due to technical and resource constraints.”

Beneficiaries can use their online accounts to update their address, request replacement Social security cards and change payment direct deposits. Individuals can also log on to their account to view an estimate of future benefit payments. Those without an online account can contact the SSA by phone or email, or visit their local office.

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618


View Larger Map

  • Be Aware of How You Could Lose Your Social Security Benefits
    1.Cessation of Disability: Usually a “cessation of benefits” occurs when you are not seeking regular and continuing treatment for the medical problems in the original determination for the grant of benefits. Also, if you are able to make enough money to pass above a certain threshold earnings amount, then you’ll stop getting disability benefits. For […]
  • NEW IMPAIRMENT LISTING IN FULL EFFECT & APPLICABLE TO ALL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS IMMEDIATELY
    NEW MENTAL LISTINGS Effective: January 17, 2017 After a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), and thousands of public comments later, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has published significant revisions to its mental impairment listings.  SSA had issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in August 2010, proposing what at the time appeared to be […]
  • SSA is Heading For Delays Again After Recent Cutbacks & Years of Improvement
    Service Cuts, Computer Problems Cloud Social Security’s 79th Birthday: The Social Security Administration should have reason to celebrate. After all, August 14, 2014, marked the 79th anniversary of the day when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which ushered in the landmark entitlement program. However, the agency’s birthday was a less than cheerful […]
  • SSA is Ramping Up Disability Reviews in 2014
    The Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 (“DBRA 1984”) was passed by a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House and Senate (99-0) in September 1984. President Reagan signed the law on October 9, 1984, when it became Pub. L. No. 98-460. One of the main provisions required “medical improvement” before benefits could be terminated where […]
  • Never Allow A Non-Attorney to Represent You At Your Social Security Hearing!
    You should NOT have a non-attorney clerk at your hearing?  This seems obvious, but several Florida law firms and any company identifying themselves as “Experts”, some who are advertising on TV, are sending non-attorney clerks to Social Security Hearings simply because its cheaper for them to do so rather than have an actual attorney appear. How in […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required