Social Security and Social Security Benefits

Social Security Administration (SSA)

What is the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

The Social Security Administration, SSA in short, is the branch of the Federal Government assigned to administer many provisions of the Social Security Act.

Until March 1995, the Social Security Administration (SSA) was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. After March 1995, the Social Security Administration (SSA) became its own agency.

What does the Social Security Act do?

The Social Security Act outlines the Social Security benefits and other payment of monthly benefits to

  • Retired workers
  • Disabled workers
  • Their dependents
  • Certain survivors of covered deceased workers
  • Medicare
  • Supplementary Security Income
  • Black Lung benefits

Social Security benefits are based on earnings of covered workers, the Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps track of all income earned by all American workers. Read about Social Security benefits by clicking here.

How is the Social Security Administration (SSA) organized?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is divided into many divisions or bureaus. The main SSA office is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is called the 'Central office'.

Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
Windsor Park Building
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 2123

There are also District offices located throughout the United States. Many of these District offices also have branch offices. District offices are set up to handle all contact with the public. Whenever you have questions for the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is almost always handled through your local Social Security District office first.

You usually would not contact the Social Security Administration Central office unless your dealings with your local SSA district office leaves your issues unresolved. The central SSA office's main function is to issue regulations and instructions to the District offices as well as interpret laws and issue policy statements.

How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) handle telephone inquiries?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) set up the Teleservice Center (TSC) especially to handle telephone inquiries from the public. The public can reach this 'call center' set up by the Social Security Administration by a toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 nationwide.

SSA service representatives will answer your call from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day, everyday. Hearing impaired callers can call the Social Security Administration's toll free number 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p. m. on Monday through Friday. Medicare information is available from 8am to 8pm Eastern time at 1-800-638-6833.

If you have general questions about Social Security or Social Security Administration, this call center can answer your questions. If you have more specific questions, they may refer you to your SSA District office.

When you call the Social Security Teleservice Center, a Social Security service representative will pull up your information on his or her computer. You should have your social security number ready when you call. If you are calling about a claim that you recently filed and for some reason it is not on the computer, they will refer you back to your local Social Security Administration District office where you claim is handled.