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Social Security Q&A

Social Security Q&A for Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Published: October 6, 2013

Q: I need to get a benefit verification letter. Do I need to come into the office?

A: No, you can get it online. There's no need to fight traffic and visit a busy government office in order to obtain proof of your benefits. To get your benefit verification letter, simply visit us online at and set up a my Social Security account. After you've spent a few minutes to establish your account, it will be simple to get your benefit verification letter immediately and much more, at any time.

For example, in addition to getting another benefit verification letter in the future, you can check your benefit and payment information, as well as your earnings record. You also can change your address, phone number, and direct deposit information. Get your benefit verification now at

No reassignment

Q: Are Social Security numbers reassigned after a person dies?

A: No. We do not reassign Social Security numbers. In all, we have assigned more than 460 million Social Security numbers. Each year we assign about 5.5 million new numbers. There are over one billion combinations of the nine-digit Social Security number.

As a result, the current system has enough new numbers to last for several more generations. For more information about Social Security, go online to

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, call Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213. For more information, go to


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