Kate Is Clueless: Address Updates

You’d think that after 20 years of being married to someone in the military, I’d get to be pretty knowledgeable about things related to moving.  Yet, there is always something that surprises me.  I still can’t get unpacked in less than a year, I still have to buy replacement items for things that have gone to that great PCS warehouse, and I still have a hard time updating my addresses with all the appropriate people.

Today, I was told something that I’d never considered, and now I’m confuzzled.  It’s possible that the person who told me this was wrong, but I can’t seem to find verification either way.  I was applying for this number that is like a social security number for a business.  I was having some confusion about where I was based, as I’m currently living overseas but only due to my husband’s military service.  I asked what happens when we move and I was told, “Well, you’ll update your details.  Just like you call Social Security and update your address every time you move.”

Say what?

I’m pretty sure that I have never told the Social Security Administration (SSA) when I move.  I’m not sure why, but it never occurred to me that I would want to.  In a small fit of panic, I went to the SSA website and looked for information.  All I could find was directions for how to change your address if you are currently receiving Social Security benefits.  I did an internet search on “change address for Social Security,” and I could not find anything that even vaguely indicates that you are supposed to keep your address updated with the SSA.

I’m really thinking that the man with whom I spoke was wrong, but now I’m all nervous.  I’m not great about address changes to begin with, (no surprise to anyone who has tried to send me a Christmas card in the last five years), but I do try to get the important stuff:  banks, insurance, etc.  I’m thinking that perhaps I should have given the IRS a heads’ up that we’d moved, since our last duty station has the worst mail forwarding ever.  But the SSA?  Never even crossed my mind.

So, dear readers, here is my question for you:  do you know anything about this?  Have you ever changed your address with the Social Security Administration?  Who do you notify about your address changes?  Are there any surprising contacts that you forget to tell?

Fill me in, people!  I’m obviously not yet done learning.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Jessi

    I’m still in my thirties and don’t receive benefits yet. But I update my address with them and I get a benefits summary every year by mail.

    Your benefits summary is probably going to your old addresses.

    • KateKashman

      Jessi, SSA no longer sends benefit statements through the mail. You have to make an online account to access your statements. I just learned that earlier this week! How exactly do you update your address with them? Once you’ve set up the online account, you can update your address within the online account access. But pre-online access, what did you do? Did you send a letter somewhere, or call? thanks for your help!

      • Jessi

        You are right. I thought at first only the benefit checks were going electronic but I called SSA and they said it was mandatory for all. It is no longer paper-based beginning 01/07/13. The new online account replaced paper. I guess I learned something new today!

  • Jamie

    I forgot to tell my dentist, and he sent me a bill for $67 that insurance didn’t cover. It wound up going to collections, and I had no idea because we’d PCS’d to Japan. I paid it as soon as I found out about it, but it was too late to keep it off the credit history. So that was special. Thankfully it falls off our credit report this fall, and now I list my parents as our mailing address for all accounts.

  • Christine

    I’ve never called them to update my address. I just assumed that they got address updates from the IRS or from whatever company I may be working at when they have to pay SS taxes on me.

  • Dave

    I updated my address with SSA once many years ago. Seems like I had to call to do it. But I’ve moved several times since then without calling them. But your question made me curious. I never knew you could create an online account to view your SSA statement. That’s pretty cool.

  • Jo Anne D.

    An older friend collects Survivor benefits from the Navy and has moved. Her checks are direct deposited and that will not change. However, she is concerned about the change of address for her tax statements. How does she file this change of address?