Social Security Office Locations By Nearest Zip Code

Find the Social Security office location nearest you

Social Security Office wall sign on building
••• Steven Puetzer / Photolibrary / Getty Images

You most likely have a Social Security office near you. You can find the closest office location by entering your zip code into the Social Security office location web page. You'll find the text field for your zip code on the left side of the page, just below the heading that reads "Social Security Office Locator." Submitting your zip code will automatically bring up the nearest office's address, hours of operation, phone number, and any additional information about the building.

However, before you make a trip to the Social Security office, you may want to check the online services page of the Social Security website. You'll find a link to this option just to the right of the text field where you input your zip code. Simply click "What You Can Do Online," and see if you can accomplish your Social Security needs from home. Many services, such as filing for benefits, can be done without making a trip to the office.

What to Expect at Your Nearest Social Security Office

Thousands of Americans turn 62 every day, which means many Social Security offices are going to have long wait times. If you're planning a trip to an office, be prepared to wait in line.

Another thing to prepare for if you make the trip to your local office: helping yourself. If you have questions about claiming choices, the nearest Social Security office may not be the best place to find answers. Staff workers at most offices are not trained to give you advice on all your choices, and some may still be familiarizing themselves with new Social Security rules that took effect in 2019. These government workers are not financial advisors, and they don't have the training or expertise to help you see what financial decisions are best in the long run.

Before Visiting a Social Security Office

If you are going to file for retirement benefits in person, then take time before you go to the office to ensure that you are making decisions that will get you the most lifetime income possible. Many people make common mistakes when they claim benefits—mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars. For example, married couples often neglect to factor in the impact of survivor benefits, and they miss out on an opportunity to claim in a way that can provide more income for a surviving spouse. The result of these choices is that many widows or widowers have less income in their later years.

Of course, not every retiree is married, and whether or not you're married will impact your claiming options. If you're single, before you claim, read up on when to claim Social Security for singles. If you're married, check out when to claim Social Security for married couples, or check out one of the many online Social Security calculators. These software programs project your claiming choices over long timelines and show you which one will deliver the most income.

Once you're confident in your claiming choices, make sure you have the right documentation with you. Original documentation is usually required, so don't walk into the office with copies. For details on the documentation needed for each service, look up which documents you'll need. By being prepared, you'll save time and avoid the hassle of multiple trips to the office.

Social Security Office Locations Outside the U.S.

If you live outside the United States, there are still options for you to see Social Security officials in person. Social Security field office locations in Canada, the British Virgin Islands, and Samoa serve Americans living in those regions. In many other countries, Americans can instead visit embassies. For more information on Social Security's international operations, visit the Earnings & International Operations page on the Social Security website.

Coordinating Social Security With Earnings from Work

If you are claiming benefits early and plan on continuing to work, you should understand the Social Security earnings limit. This rule can reduce your current benefits, depending on how your income stacks up against the current year's earnings limit. Many people file at age 62 and then keep working, expecting to get all of their Social Security and their earnings. However, if they earn too much, they receive a letter from Social Security explaining that their current benefits will be reduced. For those expecting their full Social Security income, this can be a shock.

Luckily, this rule no longer applies once you reach what is called your full retirement age. Your full retirement age is determined by the year you were born, but it will be age 66 or higher for most people.

You'll also want to be familiar with how taxes on Social Security benefits work. Up to 85% of benefits received may be included as taxable income on your tax return. You need to plan for this, or you'll get an unexpectedly large tax bill in April.

The Bottom Line

Overall, retirement planning is complicated. Social Security is only one part. Your retirement funds need to last the rest of your life. Talking through these issues with a financial planner can often be a smart move, especially as you prepare to claim Social Security.