Not receiving Social Security Administration authentication code? How to use E-mail instead

Some, but not all, RW phones stopped receiving the Two Factor Authentication (2FA) codes required to sign onto individual mySocialSecurity accounts during early November, 2019. When trying to access your account at the code required to complete signon is not received as a text message. The SSA page implies that a code (fresh security code required every time you access your online account) may also be received via email, but: the only way to add (or change to) email as an authentication channel is by requesting a new account activation code sent to your snail mail address, in 5-10 business days. Yes, SSA has your email and is sending notices to that email, but to get logged onto MySocialSecurity will take waiting for an account reset code via postal mail.

When you try to log onto your SSA account and don’t receive a text from short code 79913 with the required 2FA code in a few minutes, you will need to choose the SSA page option declaring that your mobile phone number “is no longer available” to you. Then you will be advised that you must request a new activation code via snail mail, to arrive in 5-10 business days. This is the confusing point, only by going through a process similar to that when first signing up for SSA online access can we change to having 2FA via email. Then when going through the account activation / reset process you will see that your mobile number has been erased from your SSA profile, so add it back in, if you hope to use text messaging for 2FA in the future. But also request that 2FA (or Multifactor Authentication (MFA) as SSA calls it) be done via email for the interim!


I am running into this additional certification process in a couple of other places and I can not log in due to system not recognizing my phone number. I am told they do not accept VOIP phone numbers. These additional problems have me considering leaving RW. Not sure that I want to deal with creating Google Voice or whatever as a workaround. I am simple and I like simple things just working. It becomes frustrating.

just went thru this myself when trying to apply for retirement benefits from SSA, it is EXTREMELY frustrating but it only (sarcasm) took 3.5 weeks from request to reactivation letter arriving! I dropped my RW cell # from the authentication - not worth my time to hassle with it even though my other government accounts work fine using RW cell text authentication.

Also very frustrating, trying to get the security code from SSA.

Is there anything that Republic can do, to allow these codes to go through? I have this method for verification for several other organizations/banks.

We don’t live in the US and love having our Republic phone, so we can keep our US phone number. Now we will need to have SSA send a letter to my parents, and they will have to help us sort this out…

Is there any chance this problem will be resolved soon? It seems like it could be faster than requesting a snailmail reset code!


I wouldn’t hold my breath. These issues are incredibly complicated involving Republic, Republic’s partner, SSA, SSA’s partner and even standards pushed by NIST. Republic is attempting to turn the Titanic with a rowboat oar.

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UPDATE (although without additional help):

After waiting a looong 10 business days (over three calendar weeks) for the snail mail from SSA with a reset code I was able to get back into my SSA account via email 2FA. Once back on my account via the freshly emailed code (along with the snail mailed reset code) I went to Security Settings to try to add my mobile phone number back as another 2FA mode via text message. But still, no SMS from short code 79913 got to my phone. (The SSA site says it can take up to 2 minutes, and the code is only valid for 10 minutes.) So yes, anyone coming to this issue now, go ahead and request the snail mail reset code in “5-10 business days”. Or visit your local SSA office?

Thanks for this information. I spent much time on the phone with SSA and they didn’t seem to know what the problem could be.

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Google Voice is also considered VOIP. Ask me how I know.

Just an update to anyone reading this thread. Republic has been able to work with their partner, and the partner has been able to work with the SSA, and it is now believed that the issue with receiving these texts messages is solved.


After lots of frustration, multiple attempts over multiple days, 2 very long phone calls to SS, I finally concluded that I would have to request the “snail mail” code… But even that didn’t work! (For whatever reason, SS doesn’t recognize our home address for me, though it does for my husband.)

I was about to give up and go to the SS office the next time I am in-state. I tried one more time to log in and request a text message USING CHROME instead of EDGE. And, it worked, first try!!! I have no idea why that would matter, but it did. :slight_smile:

Hi @cindya.gpvrod,

I wonder if your fresh attempt with Chrome came after the update Louis shared?

I tried again last night, using Chrome…nothing. I had printed out the form to request that a paper copy of our SS report to mailed to our home address (since they wouldn’t mail the code there…). Seeing how long the form was, I decided to try Chrome, just in case.

To be sure,
Just now, I tried on Edge…no code!
On CHROME, the code is sent to my Republic phone in less than 10 seconds!

So, YAY!!! I’m not sure if it would have worked during the last 2 weeks, when I tried often…but very glad it does now! :slight_smile:

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could someone tell me where to find the paper request? I’ve searched everywhere. No option shows up when i don’t receive the text message.

I cannot find the form to request this. No options are showing up in my login or anywhere else. Please advise.

Hi @rhondan.ft30wf - not sure about the form request but here are couple of FAQs from the SSA site that might help. The FAQs have several answers about getting a code but nothing I found with a step-by-step process. Example: second FAQ describes what you want to do but not many specific how to’s :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Frustrating!

Our accounts were already setup with E-mail addresses for verification so when we added the cell phones the system automatically started offering a choice between E-mail and 2FA text (once we verified the cell phone online) each time we log in. At least that’s how our accounts work now. BTW - we have never had a problem getting 2FA texts from SSA…knock on wood :grimacing:

Here’s what we get once we login and get to the “Get security code” page –

(Edited our personal information above). Think you need to select the "I cannot access options listed above and this takes you to page to request reset. You may not get this option if your setup with only cell phone for 2FA. Others like @clint_s who have gone through the process might be able to verify this step.

I believe you can also use the forgot password on login page and SSA will send you a new password via US Mail. You can then log in with new password and change security settings and enable both 2FA with phone and E-mail verification options. Have not tried this to make sure it resets (or bypasses) cell phone number for 2FA.

All this assumes your account has current information (like mailing address) for you. Others might have some specific steps to share too. Hope this helps!


Exactly, @freddyp - not really intuitive, but your suggestions are spot on, from what I recall. My struggles a few months ago to get around the “text not received” issue were only resolved by following those options, asking that a code be USPS mailed to my home address, and waiting. I don’t recall any “paper form” being in the process, @rhondan.ft30wf One must just plow through SSA website options until presented with the chance to request a code be mailed. Then wait for it to show up, and return to the SSA site.

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