The Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are both federal agencies in the United States. Social Security is responsible for retirement and disability benefits and Medicare is responsible for health care for Medicare recipients who are 65 and older or are under 65 with qualifying disabilities.
While both of these agencies are separate, they both work together in many different ways. This means you may not always know which agency to contact for which services.
This article gives you important information about when and how you should contact Social Security, and when and how you should contact Medicare.
Reasons to Contact Social Security
You should contact the SSA if you need help with any of the following services:
• To check on your eligibility for Medicare benefits.
• To create an account called “my Social Security” so you can go online to verify your earnings, to get an estimate of your future benefits, or to manage your monthly benefits.
• To get the status of a claim.
• To get a replacement for your Medicare card.
• To report personal changes like your address, name, or phone numbers.
• To sign up for Original Medicare Parts A or B.
• To get an SSA-1020 application form, or to apply directly over the phone for the Extra Help program for your Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan.
• To get the address of your local Social Security office.
• To report a death.
• To request an SS-5 application for a Social Security card as a replacement or for a name change or to update other information.
• To make an appeal concerning Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) decisions.
• To ask for a benefit verification letter, or to request a replacement tax summary (form SSA-1099)
How to Contact the Social Security Administration
To get help with any of the services listed above, you can contact the Social Security Administration in the following ways:
The Social Security Administration’s toll-free phone number is 1-800-772-1213, and the text telephone (TTY) number is 1-800-325-0778.
If you wish to speak to a representative, you must call during the hours of operation which are between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET on weekdays.
If you can use the automated telephone services to get recorded information, they are available on a 24-hour basis.
Online services are available at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/. They are available during the following times:
• Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. ET
• Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET
• Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET
While you are online you can review your information, apply for benefits, manage your account, and find help and answers.
3. In person
You can visit a local Social Security office in person. You do not need to make an appointment first, but it is highly advisable to do so before you go to ensure that someone can help you when you visit.
To find the address and phone number of your local CMS office, you can go to www.ssa.gov/locator and enter your zip code for the information and hours of operation.
When and How to Contact Medicare
There are hundreds of questions that Medicare recipients may have regarding their health insurance coverage, claims, costs, billing information, what services are allowed, or about their medical records. It is important that they have ways to get their questions answered quickly and easily.
You can call Medicare’s toll-free phone number and speak to a representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where you live.
The toll-free number is: 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE). The TTY number is: 1-877-486-2048.
If you prefer to contact Medicare by mail, or if you have something to send them, the mailing address is:
Medicare Contact Center Operations
PO Box 1270
Lawrence, KS 66044
Medicare does not have an official email address, but you can look up information online by going to www.medicare.gov.