I have about four years, 2022, before I’m eligible to receive social security payments. My wife, Josie, is about nine months behind me, eligible in 2023.
When I tried to create an online account, the Social Security Administration website here wouldn’t let me. That’s okay. I think I understand why it won’t let me. Josie probably won’t be able to create one either.
The are four sections available from the home page of the website: my Social Security, Social Security Number, Retirement Estimator and FAQs. I tried to create an account with the first one and all I really needed to do was to use the Retirement Estimator. I was able to use it for me and Josie was able to use it for her. We got the information we needed.
When I attempted to register, I received this notice at the top of the screen:
We cannot verify the information you provided.
I provided the information they requested: My name (as shown on my card), my number, my birth date, my home address and my phone number. I find it incredible that they can’t verify that I am me based on that information alone.
I can only guess the reasons by the complaints at a few websites I visited. It seems like it’s tied to my credit record. A credit record, by the way, that doesn’t exist. Why? Because I haven’t used credit for anything since I left the country in 2006. This article from 2014 (which I only know from the comment dates) pretty much says this is the reason.
Even if I had a credit record in the United States, I wouldn’t have a credit record that ties me to the place I’m staying at today. I’m staying with my older son, Joseph, and his family and I don’t plan to be here for more than a year. I’ve been here three months so far. I don’t have a credit card and I don’t want one.
I couldn’t do this from the Philippines. The Social Security website requires a residential address in the United States. They probably record the IP address along with the form as well. Sure, there are ways to get around both, but why should I bother with that?
When the time comes, I’ll have to apply for social security benefits at the U.S. Citizen Services area at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. I’ve been told, by various people, to apply three months before my birthday. That’s just under four years from now.
We’ll have to make another trip nine months later so Josie can apply for social security benefits. Neither of us will get very much compared to some of the people we know. That’s okay. I’m already able to get by on my military pension by living in the Philippines. Our social security pensions combined with it should enable us to do more than just get by for the rest of our lives.