Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Why your W-2 is late

Having trouble logging in to the Social Security Administration’s Business Services Online website at Try putting your user id and password entirely into lowercase. Yes, their system may display it in uppercase. Yes, they may mail you an uppercase or mixed case user id or password. Yes, you may have been able to log in previously with uppercase or mixed case, and you may still be able to. They aren’t really sure what’s happening.

Having trouble with the SSA BSO site removing services from your employer account? That’s because their back end doesn’t believe you should pay wages unless you also receive wages, so they periodically go through their accounts and remove the ability to submit wage reports.

Having trouble with the SSA BSO site not letting you add services, and sending you in an infinite loop? That’s because they believe you have some other account already active. You can create as many accounts as you want, but you can’t do anything with them.

Having trouble with the SSA BSO site locking you out? Don’t click on “forgot password” or they will freeze your account, mail you a new password in 2-3 weeks, and not allow you file your wage reports until that turns up. And try not to go so long between logging in. You may only need to file wage reports once a year, but they’d like to see you more often than that. Hurt their site’s feelings and they may disable your account.

Having trouble with the SSA BSO site’s security questions? Give up. They’ve told me that it’s impossible to have an account without security questions, that my account has no security questions, that I can’t log in without correctly answering the security questions that aren’t on my account, that it’s impossible to add security questions, and that it’s impossible to delete an account and start over.

Having trouble with the SSA BSO site and not getting help from the regular reps? Try calling 888-772-2970 and ask for technical assistance. Want to fax them a letter authorizing yourself to file wage reports? Try faxing a letter to 570-706-7875, and don’t think too hard about the security theater. They have no idea what they are trying to accomplish or prevent, but they know they want to impress you. So sit back, relax, and let your mind go empty. They have.

Updated to add: They now auto-expire passwords after 90 days, even though many users only need to log in every 12 to 13 months.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog post! This describes everything that has happened to me at the SSA web site this month - changed password not recognized resulting in having to request a paper letter (!) with a new/reset password, no services upon logging in, etc. What a mess!

Anonymous said...

I too have spent the best part of a day in an endless least I am not crazy. What a crap site.

Anonymous said...

Exactly so. I sent them an email yesterday asking for assistance. The reply came today and included a phone number that I called hopefully. However, after a long cricket-paced game listen to instructions and entering the correct number the call was automatically ended. Looks like that W2 will be late.

Unknown said...

Exactly! And the sad part is my husband and I went through the same thing last year and because it's been so long, we can't remember what the remedy was. I believe it ended up being resolved with some assistance over the phone, but my goodness, all we're trying to do is be good citizens and they make it virtually impossible. Has anyone made any progress?