My Social Security 2FA texts stopped getting through

Thanks @ceedee,

The company we partner with for messaging has escalated the issue to the company they partner with for short codes, and so far we are told that a fix is in progress. There’s no ETA, nor are there any details on what that fix entails, but we’re happy to hear that they continue to work on a solution.

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Just got off the phone with SSA help desk. Her first question was am I using T mobile? Apparently many T mobile customers find their SMS blocked. (T mobile offers text message blocking for customers billed for each message). That is not my issue, however.

Help desk lady said that SSA’s history indicates that a message was sent, so they are not blocking messages to VOIP. However, I used my Google Voice number. It worked in August, but not now. After reading through the messages here I tried texting “Help” to 79913 using Google Voice - no response. Tried again using the RW number (which is T Mobile) and got an instant reply.

I requested a change. When the snail mail letter comes in a week or so I will set up both email and the RW number. I like belt and suspenders, and would add rope if I could.

I also had a chat with Wells Fargo last summer. No GV or RW, or even email for certain services like Zelle. Only work around is to buy a fob from them that displays a code that changes every 60 seconds. I have used them in the past to log in to my employer’s VPN and they work. But it’s a pain in the posterior. I changed banks instead; that’s only a one-time pain.

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Just to be clear, RW numbers on Android phones are not T-Mobile (or Sprint) numbers. Republic numbers that are part of the standard service are hosted by their partner (and former parent company) bandwidth.com

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Bandwidth does not own any cell towers, afaik. It runs calls through either T Mobile or Sprint. As I understand it, when banks or other security-sensitive organizations check a RW phone number, they learn that the number is assigned to Bandwidth as the carrier, which is classified as VOIP. That is snooty Wells Fargo’s story. It is a relief that Social Security appears not to be doing this, so the sporadic dropping of their 2FA SMS text messages is caused by something else.

Years ago I had problems getting my Google Voice number to ring my RW phone because Bandwidth handled both GV and RW. The forwarding issue seems to have been resolved, but I believe that GV is also shown as being a Bandwidth number if an SMS sender checks.

Correct, however you originally stated

and my point of clarification is that your number is completely unrelated to T-Mobile. The number is a Bandwidth number and no looking, no matter how hard, will find it in any way connected to T-Mobile.

Also correct because Bandwidth provides the infrastructure for GV numbers as well.

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Unable to receive the security code from Social Security (SSA.gov) in order to access my online mysocialsecurity account. This is a problem. Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Hi @Vegemom3 and welcome to the Member Community. There is already an active discussion about this issue with an open master trouble ticket.

If you are experiencing this issue, please open a ticket indicating that you no longer receive text messages from the Social Security Administration, and ask to have your ticket investigated as part of master ticket 1798585.

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Thank you. I did open ticket to be part of the master ticket. I appreciate you reaching out.
Nancy

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I too am not receiving 2FA codes from SSA. I have a call into them, but evidently the problem is not on their end. I do not understand to whom you requested a change. I will dig into the earlier exchanges in this thread to figure this out. At least I know which direction to dig.
What is still odd to me is that I receive 2FA codes from other sources. I hope that the earlier messages clarify why SSA codes are not coming through, and what to do about this. Thanks.

All of your questions and concerns are answered above.

I cannot receive auth codes from mySSA. Moto G7. I verify that my number is still the same, but no text ever comes. Is this something Republic can fix. Thank you.

The above replies will fill you in.

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I am frustrated and disappointed with two aspects of this issue.

First, the Help Article referenced ([Short Code: 79913] Not Receiving Texts from Social Security Administration (SSA) – Republic Help) does not provide useful information to us experiencing the problem. No date is listed on the article, the article claims that “you should be able to authenticate your account using email” - but fails to advise that in order to add or change authentication to email (from text message) we must take non-intuitive, non-explained actions to falsely tell SSA that “my mobile number has changed,” so yes, postal mail me a new activation code in 5 to 10 business days. Only by reading through this thread did I learn that is the ONLY solution available. No amount of trying different options on the SSA site provides otherwise, despite hints toward more expeditious paths.

Second: what the heck could take more than five weeks to sort through? My wife and I are both stuck with this issue, only now (belatedly, only after searching in Community for “Social” to find this thread) have I requested the USPS mailed reset code. I volunteer my time and Moto G5+ to track down where the text fails. I hope someone is actually trying to figure out how to get SSA two factor authentication via SMS back working! Should I call my congressman, too?

Have you tried to get anything fixed by the SSA? This isn’t an issue on the Republic end. I’d be surprised if it is solved in a year.

Not saying we should have to wait forever, but just so you guys know, the problem is apparently not with SSA or Republic.

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Hi @travish.3ykfmb,

The “content provider” for the SSA is involved in the troubleshooting as well. It’s quite a complex situation!

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Thank you yet again, @southpaw! I (and my wife) are both stuck with this issue, still. So I have requested the snail mail reset code, to go through a New Account type process with the SSA, again. The Two Factor Authentication (or 2FA, or MFA as the SSA likes to call it) was working for me and my RW phone for months - then stopped when I needed it again.

My continuing complaint to RW is that the supposed Help Article (which is the only thing which is shown when we search for Help in the RW app, or on the main RW website) still does not Help. The article really must clearly explain that anyone with issue needs to 1) Falsely tell the SSA website that their RW phone is no longer available (therefore should be deleted from the SSA account) and consequently 2) Request a snail mail reset code be sent, in 5 to 10 business days.

Not only is this not clear in the RW “Help” article, nothing on the SSA site makes this clear. So I (and my wife) went in circles for days, trying to find how to get an email authentication. Since this seems to be so complex in the RW and SSA service provider domain that six weeks have not been enough time to fix - the two week snail mail method is the best available.

Can someone at RW get the related RW “Help” article improved to actually help?

Hi @clint_s,

I’m not going to write up instructions for the SSA workaround you’ve described in the RW Help article, because instructions to get your SSA account verified are a bit beyond the scope of a Republic Wireless help document and because we can’t test and verify the process ourselves.

I will, however, edit the article to point readers to your instructions here in Community, if you’d like to write them up clearly, succinctly, and with a focus on providing the needed instructions. We can put your instructions in our Tips and Tricks category and point readers to them, there.

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A post was split to a new topic: Not receiving Social Security Administration 2-Factor Authentication code? How to use E-mail instead

Thanks @clint_s!

Can you add a link to where one might get started with this process of requesting a snail mail activation code?

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