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Name change with Social Security

Rancho Cordova, CA |

I was named regina marie woodley at birth. SS card stated this. My dad changed my first name to Jeanne at kindergarten registration. When I married, SS would only allow me to change the last name to Mahar. So it has been Regina Marie Mahar all my working life. I never go by regina, hate it really. I am retiring in two years. Do I need to legally change my name to get the social security benefits I have paid into? Always used the same number. A local lawyer said it will be $800. If I go to court myself, it will be $500. My husband thinks it will be fine but our checking account goes by Jeanne.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    No, you are not required to legally change your name to receive your benefits. When the time come, just give Social Security the direct deposit info for your bank account. Many, many people (including myself) use a name slightly different from the "official" name on the Social Security account. It doesn't even seem to make a difference if the Social Security, drivers license, and passport names do not match. Mine don't.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. I agree with Ms. Sinclair.


  3. Attorney Sinclair nailed this answer.

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