Official Fairbanks AK, Social Security Office Information
Here is the information for your local Social Security Office in Fairbanks, Alaska. Feel free to find an office near you by typing in your zip code into the Social Security Office Locator.
101 12th Ave
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Sunday: CLOSED - CLOSED
Monday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Saturday: CLOSED - CLOSED
How To Find A Local Social Security Office Using PrepareforSocialSecurity.com
Suppose you'd like to find your local Social Security office using Google Maps to see how far each office is from your home. In that case, you can easily do this on this very website!
First, go to https://PrepareforSocialSecurity.com. This is our main page. In the menu at the top of the page, you'll see "SSA Offices." Click that to find your state.
Then, click your state of residence. have Google search it up for you!
PrepareforSocialSecurity.com will show you all of your state's Social Security Office locations. You can scroll down to find the one nearest you.
You can also use the search function on https://PrepareforSocialSecurity.com to find the one nearest you. Just enter your ZIP code!
I live in Fairbanks. Can I Walk Into a Social Security Office?
Yes! While local Social Security offices have restored in-person services, including for people without an appointment. You can walk directly into a Social Security office without an appointment. However, the wait is very long if you don't have an appointment with your local SSA office. You may spend almost half your day waiting in line if you don't have an appointment ahead of time.
If you walk in without an appointment, you'll likely encounter delays and very long wait times at your local Social Security Office. However, before coming to an office, you can visit the government's emergency page to check the status of your local Social Security Office. This website will give you information on emergency closures and other information on closures in offices near you.
When is the Best Time to Visit the Fairbanks Social Security Office?
In most states, including Alaska, Social Security Offices are always busiest early in the morning and on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays of the week. You'll also want to avoid taking a trip to the office during the first week of any month as this is a hectic time. Before you make your trip, read below on how to make an appointment at your local Social Security Office. Then, if you can, make your appointment on a Thursday or Friday on the second, third, or fourth week of the month later in the day for less wait time and fewer people waiting inside the office.
How Can I Make an Appointment with the Local Social Security Office in Fairbanks, Alaska?
Suppose you need to speak to an agent at your local Social Security Office. In that case, you can schedule, reschedule or cancel an appointment by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am – 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Wait times to speak to a representative are typically shorter early in the day (between 8 am and 10 am local time) or later in the afternoon (between 4 pm and 7 pm local time). In addition, phone appointments can save you a trip to a busy office where you'll have to sit and wait for a long time.
Again, I strongly recommend using Social Security's online services to avoid waiting in line, as you can schedule appointments in advance using their online services.
What Should I Bring to A Social Security Office?
Remember that Social Security Offices may require safety measures such as masking (regardless of local regulations), physical distancing, and self-health checks for COVID-19 symptoms. Bring your mask with you to your visit. If you don't have a mask, the office will provide a mask for your visit.
Also, you'll want to bring your ID, such as your driver's license, social security card, and any paperwork you'll need for your visit. It's also a good idea to bring a water bottle, a snack, and a book or magazine to read in case you are waiting for your appointment.
Do not bring grandchildren, other family members, or additional people with you to your visit. Many Social Security Offices are still socially distancing. And because many of the offices are small, there is a limited capacity inside the office. The exception is that people with mobility issues or needing assistance can have one person with them to help them in the office.
Filing for Social Security
There are four ways to file for Social Security benefits:
- Complete a paper application, then mail it in or deliver it in person to a Social Security Administration office.
- Complete an application with the help of a Social Security Administration employee in an SSA office. Make an appointment to avoid a long wait time.
- Phone the SSA at 800-772-1213 to complete the application over the phone with a representative. Depending on the time you call, wait times may be substantial.
- Open a “my Social Security” account on the SSA website and complete an online application.
Regardless of the method you choose, be aware that due to the complexities of the Social Security Program, inadequate training, and a high work volume, some SSA representatives may not know all the rules relevant to you. They may also try to talk you into choosing an option that is not best for your situation. It’s important that you enlist the help of an advisor or do your own research.
If you or the Social Security Administration makes a mistake in the application process, you can appeal to the SSA to change their decision. Once you receive a letter from the SSA with their decision on your application, you must make any appeals within 60 days, in writing. You can pursue your appeal up through four levels to try to get the results you want:
- A reconsideration by a different representative than the one who oversaw your application.
- A hearing before an administrative law judge.
- A review by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council.
- A review by the federal courts.
In addition to this formal appeals process, you can also hire a legal firm to help or reach out to your U.S. Congressional representative for assistance in expediting the process.
You also have the option of withdrawing your application and starting again within the first 12 months of receiving benefits. However, the downside is that you will be required to repay all benefits received to that point. In addition, the reapplication process will delay the start date of your newly calculated benefits.
In discussions about when to file for Social Security, the question inevitably comes up, “What happens if I don’t file? Will I automatically start getting benefits?” The short answer is that the SSA is not going to start sending you money without you asking for it. Nobody is going to force you to file for Social Security at any point. Just keep in mind that your benefits will not increase if you wait past age 70 to file. In general, the longer you wait to file, the greater your benefits will be, but this advantage ceases once you turn 70 because the retirement credits stop accruing then.
However, there is one scenario where your benefits will automatically begin at age 70. If you applied after you reached your full retirement age, then suspended your benefits until age 70, those benefits will automatically restart when you turn 70.
Deciding When to Claim Your Benefits
If you live in Alaska, as you near retirement age, perhaps the single most important decision you will make related to Social Security is when to claim your benefits. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Some people will profit most by retiring as early as possible. Others would come out better financially in the end by waiting.
If you’re married, you and your spouse might want to retire at different ages to maximize your income during retirement. You have to decide what is best for you based on a number of different factors, not all of which are purely financial.
Social Security rules allow you to start receiving benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit check will be. Drawing Social Security too early is the number one mistake Alaska-based retirees make in this process.
Claiming benefits at age 62 will give you 30% less in benefits every month for the rest of your life. This can add up to thousands of dollars lost per year. If, on the other hand, you wait until age 70 to claim benefits, you will receive an extra 24% in your check every month. And so, you will have thousands of dollars more per year for a lifetime.
Some people argue that it’s better to take retirement early because that will give you more benefit checks over your lifetime than if you wait. It doesn’t matter how many checks you get, though–what matters is the total those checks add up to. Taking early benefits makes each check smaller than it otherwise would have been. Waiting until age 70 results in fewer checks but a much higher monthly benefit. In the end, people who live a full lifespan will get the greatest benefit from waiting to the maximum allowable age.
For some people, it can make sense to claim benefits earlier, such as in situations where they have dependents to care for, and have no other sources of retirement income to live on. Another reason to claim early may be a family health history of chronic illness and shorter-than-average lifespans.
The Social Security Administration provides a convenient Life Actuarial Table, which you can access via https://PrepareforSocialSecurity.com/links. Alternatively, they also provide a Life Expectancy Calculator, which you can access via the Links page as well. When you enter your gender and date of birth, the system will generate a chart indicating the average number of additional years you can expect to live, on average, after reaching a specific age.
Remember, this is not a crystal ball. No one can predict with certainty the year you will pass away. When making a realistic projection of your life expectancy, you should consider several factors, such as: how long people tend to live in your family; how healthy your own lifestyle is; what health conditions you already have; the amount of stress, anger, or worry in your life and how you are managing it; and whether you have healthy relationships or live a solitary life.
Social Security Consulting, Information & Preparation in Fairbanks, AK
When is the Best Time to Visit the Fairbanks Social Security Office?
Social Security Offices are always busiest early in the morning and on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays of the week. You'll also want to avoid taking a trip to the office during the first week of any month as this is a hectic time. Before you make your trip, read below on how to make an appointment at your local Social Security Office. Then, if you can, make your appointment on a Thursday or Friday on the second, third, or fourth week of the month later in the day for less wait time and fewer people waiting inside the office.
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