If you've read anything about Social Security in recent years, then you probably know that our most convenient office location is wherever you happen to be -- thanks to www.socialsecurity.gov. Whether you're on your home or office computer, or at the park or the beach with a mobile device, Social Security's online office is just a click away. However, we recognize that some people prefer to do business with us face-to-face. If that's you, we still would like to let you know about an online feature that can make finding your nearest Social Security office much easier.
From your computer or your mobile device, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/locator. That link will take you to our Social Security Office Locator. Once there, key in your ZIP code and you'll get the address, phone number, and hours of the Social Security office closest to you.
The Locator page also gives you the option to see a map and get directions. If you are on the run and have your mobile device, this feature has the capability to "Map It," providing turn-by-turn directions, making it easy to get to the office from where you are at the time. Of course, it's still up to you to find a place to park (if needed).
You don't have to worry about parking or traffic or lines if you transact your business at our online office on our website. If you can use our online Office Locator, you'll probably be able to easily take advantage of our other online features.
For example, you can get a personalized, instant estimate of your future Social Security benefits by using our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Or, do some retirement planning with our Benefits Planners at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.
You can even apply for benefits from your home computer by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.
We also encourage you to set up a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Then you will have quick and easy access to a number of personalized, secure services. Get your Social Security Statement online, or if you already receive benefits, get an instant benefit verification letter right over the computer.
You may just want some information. You can get that online as well. Browse our library of publications, which you can read or listen to, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Get the Social Security forms you need at www.socialsecurity.gov/online. Or, get an answer to a question by visiting our frequently asked questions at www.socialsecurity.gov/faq.
You can find these and many other Social Security services at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Gregory Holmes is the director of the Social Security office in Chattanooga.
Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...