How To Apply For Social Security In 3 Easy Steps
You may have already started calculating your Social Security benefits as you approach retirement age. Most people estimate these benefits before retirement to ensure they have enough money in their monthly budget. When retirement finally rolls around, you will need to start your Social Security retirement benefits. But how do you let the Social Security Administration know that you are ready to start receiving your benefits? You will need to submit an application for benefits! The application process is not overly complex for most people, but there are required steps and documentation that must be followed. Keep reading as we tell you what you need to do to apply for Social Security in just three easy steps.
Information You Need To Apply
Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
Information About You
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
- The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
- Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
- Your bank or other and the account number.
Information About Your Medical Condition
- Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Names of medicines, the amount you are taking, and who prescribed them.
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.
Information About Your Work:
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, and medical documents, but we must see the originals of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
Do You Have A Security Freeze Or Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report
If you have a security freeze, fraud alert, or both on your credit report, you can still open a personal mySocial Security account by temporarily lifting it. To do this, you must:
If you dont want to temporarily lift your security freeze or fraud alert, you can contact your local Social Security office for assistance. For more information on security freezes and fraud alerts, read the Federal Trade Commissions .
Also Check: Social Security Office In Tucson Arizona
Is My Child Eligible For Benefits
To qualify for Social Security Childs Insurance Benefits, you and your child must meet certain requirements. As a parent, you must have worked and earned enough Social Security credits , and you must also be eligible to receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Children can also receive benefits if they have a deceased parent.
For a child to qualify for benefits, they must be unmarried, dependent on the parent and must meet at least one of the following criteria.
- Theyre under age 18.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Social Security
Its important that you plan for when you want your benefits to start. They are not turned on like a water faucet. If youre claiming Social Security retirement benefits, plan on at least six weeks for your application to be processed. However, if your application has incorrect information or the agency is backlogged, it could take up to three months before benefits begin, warns AARP. However, you cannot apply for benefits more than four months before you want them to begin, according to the Social Security Administration.
So its a good idea to start the application at least three months before you want your benefits to start. Otherwise, you may end up with a deficit in your finances during the transition period.
What We Will Ask You
Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.
You should also have your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.
Your Personal Mysocial Security Account Is For Your Use Only
We are committed to protecting the information and resources entrusted to us, including your personal information and investment. For your protection, youre the only one who can create your personal mySocial Security account for your own exclusive use. No one can create or use an account on your behalf, even with your written or verbal permission. Do not allow anyone else to use your account under any circumstances. Unauthorized use of this service is a misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government and could subject you to criminal or civil penalties, or both.
Don’t Miss: Disadvantages Of Social Security Disability
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSAs Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
Recommended Reading: Social Security Lawyers For Survivors Benefits
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance
There is no set list of approved disabilities, but the Social Security Blue Book, also known as Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, is an online directory of physical and mental health conditions that automatically qualify if you meet the stringent requirements for diagnosis. For adults, they are broadly split into 14 categories.
- Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thrombosis and hemophilia
- Cancer, including Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, breast cancer and prostate cancer
- Cardiovascular illnesses, such as congenital heart disease and heart failure
- Cognitive andmental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, depression and intellectual disabilities
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems, such as non-mosaic Down syndrome
- Digestive system illnesses, such as bowel or liver disease
- Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
- Genitourinary disorders like chronic kidney disease
- Immune system diseases like HIV, inflammatory arthritis and lupus
- Musculoskeletal issues that are congenital or acquired, such as spinal disorders or amputations
- Neurological disorders, such as Parkinsons disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Special sense and speech disorders, such as impaired hearing, sight and speech
- Skin disorders, such as burns, dermatitis and ichthyosis
Read Also: Customer Service Number For Social Security
Get Proof Of Benefits
If you need proof of your Social Security benefits, you can get a Benefit Verification letter by logging into my Social Security. The letter serves as proof that you get retirement, disability, Supplemental Security Income or Medicare benefits. You can use it for loan, housing assistance, mortgage and other income verification purposes.
Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
Recommended Reading: Social Security Office Hattiesburg Mississippi
When To Apply For The European Health Insurance Card
Although the European Health Insurance Card is valid for 2 years it is important to note that the return date of your trip must be within its validity period.
That said, and taking into account that this card is received at home within a maximum period of 10 days from the date of application, it will be enough for you to apply for the EHIC 15 to 20 days before starting your trip, to be on the safe side.
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information and documents you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet our for disability benefits.
- We confirm you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This state agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you have a disability, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed.
Look For Our Response
When the state agency makes a determination on your case, youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Don’t Miss: Social Security Office In Independence Missouri
Other Ways You Can Apply
Apply With Your Local Office
You can do most of your business with Social Security online. If you cannot use these online services, your local Social Security office can help you apply. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
Apply By Phone
If You Do Not Live in the U.S. Or One of Its Territories
Contact the if you live outside the U.S. or a U.S. territory and wish to apply for retirement benefits.
Mailing Your Documents
If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.
How Do I Apply For The European Health Insurance Card Online
Tabla de Contenido
Traveling without a European Health Insurance Card is not an advisable option and requesting or renewing it only requires a few minutes of processing. Below we show you step by step how you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card online. In addition to some practical information: what is it, how to order it, how long does it last, how to renew it, etc.
To access the Social Security Electronic Headquarters, click on this link.
Read Also: Social Security Office Hartford Connecticut
Social Security Disability Insurance
For SSDI, the document requirements are considerably broader and the application is lengthier. Along with the usual personal data , youll need to provide extensive documentation of your medical history and treatment and file an Adult Disability Report.
The SSDI process also includes an interview, in person or by phone. Youll find detailed information in Social Securitys Adult Disability Starter Kit.
Where to file:Online, by phone or in person.
What Youll Need To Apply For Social Security
To apply for Social Security retirement benefits, youll need to be prepared with information about yourself and your work history.
Some items on the list of personal information resemble what youd use to fill out a job or loan application, but theres also certain information youll need to compile.
About you: Your date and place of birth and Social Security number your citizenship status your original birth certificate or other proof of birth and proof of U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S.
About your current and/or former spouse: Names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth or ages, dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
About your children: Names of any unmarried children under 18, or under 19 and in elementary, middle or high school, or children with disabilities that started before age 22.
Previous Social Security applications: If you or someone else filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf, youll need to provide additional information.
Where benefits should be directed: Routing and account information for your bank or other financial institution.
When benefits begin: Youll need to indicate which month you want your retirement benefits to kick in. Also, if youre within three months of turning 65, youll need to indicate whether you wish to enroll in Medicare Part B to get medical insurance coverage.
About the author:Taryn Phaneuf is a writer at NerdWallet.Read more
Read Also: Free Social Security Disability Lawyers
How To Create Or Access Your Account
Ready to sign up? You can now create your new mySocial Security account through either of these two credential partners: Login.gov or ID.me.
- Login.gov is your one government account for simple, secure, and private access to participating U.S. government agencies.
- ID.me is a single sign-on provider that meets the U.S. governments online identity proofing and authentication requirements.
A credential includes your username, password, and two-step verification factors. A trusted credential partner helps us securely verify your identity online.
Social Security Benefits For Children: Who Is Eligible And How To Apply
Your child could be eligible to receive a portion of your full Social Security benefit amount. Heres how to find out.
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When shes not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance or are eligible to receive retirement benefits and have kids, its possible your children could also qualify for benefits. These are called Social Security Childs Insurance Benefits, which the Social Security Administration disburses to children as long as one parent is entitled to receive benefits.
This is to help to stabilize the familys financial future,the SSA says. The Social Security money for children is also designed to help provide necessities to kids while theyre still enrolled in school.
Well explain how to find out if your child is eligible to receive Social Security benefits and how much they could get. Well also tell you the payment schedule. For more, heres why Supplemental Security Income recipients are getting their COLA increase in December.
Read Also: Social Security Office Brownwood Tx
Documents You May Need To Provide
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
- Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse and
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
Do You Need A Lawyer To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
The short answer is no youre not required to retain an attorney to assist you with your application for Social Security Disability. However, there are some good reasons you may want to consider working with an attorney from the beginning:
- An experienced Social Security Disability attorney will know exactly how to assemble your application and documentation to ensure that the process isnt held up by technical errors or omissions.
- Most initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied, requiring the claimant to appeal before actually receiving benefits. An attorney who has worked with you from the initial application will be in the best position to assist you as the process becomes increasingly complicated.
- If youre adapting to a new or worsening medical condition that has rendered you unable to work, you dont need the added stress of managing the details of the application and appeals process. When you leave that in the hands of an experienced professional, you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
Perhaps the best reason to consider working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is this: statistics show that claimants who have legal representation at Social Security Disability appeals hearings are significantly more likely to be approved. Why not give yourself the best possible chance?
Read Also: Social Security Fraudulent Activity Call