Disability, Online Services, Retirement, SSI

5 Ways to Apply for Social Security Benefits Online

September 16, 2021 • By

Last Updated: September 16, 2021

man searching internet on laptop computerWe continue to make it easier for you to access our programs and benefits. Our website offers a convenient way to apply for benefits online.

You can apply online for:

  • Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits – You must be at least 61 years and 9 months in age and want your benefits to start in no more than four months. Check out our Apply for Benefits page for information on how to apply.
  • Disability Benefits – You can use our online application to apply for disability benefits if you:
    • Are age 18 or older.
    • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
    • Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
    • Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied, our online appeal application, is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made. Please visit our Appeal a Decision page to learn more.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI is a federal income program funded by general tax revenues, and helps people who have little or no income and who are age 65 or older, blind, or have disabilities. If you meet certain requirements, you may apply online. If you are not able to apply online, call your local Social Security office to apply.
  • Medicare – Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, some people younger than 65 who have disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. If you are not already receiving Social Security benefits, you should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65 at Medicare Benefits page.
  • Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs – People who need assistance with the cost of medications can apply for Extra Help on our website.

We also encourage you to sign up for a personal my Social Security account if you don’t have one. Using your personal my Social Security account, you can request a replacement Social Security card, verify your earnings, get future benefit estimates, and obtain benefit verification letters.

Please share this information with family and friends – and post it on social media.


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  1. Machelle f.

    I’m on Ssi but was told I could ssd off my husband instead. How do I do that?

    Reply
  2. SHARRON K.

    My husband recently passed away. He was receiving social security and military disability. The funeral home notified social security but how do I notify the disability folks? He did not receive a social security check in December but did receive one from disability. I probably need to return the disability check since he passed November 4th. Also, where do I go to apply for spousal benefits for both his social security and his disability?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Sharron, we are very sorry for your loss. Social Security has a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 that can be paid to the surviving spouse. You would need to call and make an appointment to file for that benefit. You can call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

      You may be eligible for reduced widows benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled) and at any age if caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving benefits on the deceased’s record. Survivor benefit amounts are based on your husband’s earnings. The more he paid into Social Security, the higher the benefits would be. The benefits will not be established automatically, you will have to contact us.

      Check out our If You Are The Survivor web page for details. We hope this helps! 

      Reply
  3. Beverly T.

    I am trying to apply for Social Security and I have been told I can receive part or all of my deceased husbands benefits. He has been gone 5 years and I am 62 and 9 mths. I havent been able to talk with anyone on phone and have not been able to speak with anyone to make an appointment. Please help

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Beverly, thanks for using our blog. If you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can start receiving reduced survivor’s benefits as early as age 60 (50 if disabled). If you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, you may have an additional option.

      You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date. The earliest age you can apply for your own (reduced) retirement benefits is 62.

      You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you attain full retirement age in 2022, the earnings limit is $51,960 but we only count earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, then we deduct $1 from benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2022, that limit is $19,560.

      You would need to call and make an appointment to file for widow’s benefits as you cannot apply for that online. You can call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Barbara R.

    Hello! I am 64 years old. I would like to retire asap. I have been married for 43 years and am still married. My husband is not ready to retire (eligible but wants to continue to work). May I collect my social security plus partially from his record?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Barbara, thanks for using our blog. We will always pay your own retirement benefit first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, the spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount (not his reduced benefit amount). So, you can only receive additional spouse’s benefits if your own full retirement benefit (not your reduced benefit) is less than half of your husband’s full retirement benefit.

      If you qualify for a retirement benefit from your own work history you can file for that benefit as early as age 62. You cannot receive additional spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving their retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses).

      If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to apply, your own retirement portion remains reduced.  When you add spouse’s benefits later, the total retirement and spouses benefit together will total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. 

      You can apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start. When you’re ready to apply, you can apply online.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  5. BEATRIZ P.

    HI ! EX HUSBAND DIE ON OCTOBER 6 2021! WE WERE MARRIED FOR 11 YEARS ! HOW CAN I APPLY FOR BENEFITS,? THANK YOU .

    Reply
    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Beatriz. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could get benefits the same as a widow or widower, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more. Benefits paid to you as a surviving divorced spouse won’t affect the benefit amount for other survivors getting benefits on the worker’s record. If you remarry after you reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), the remarriage will not affect your eligibility for survivors benefits.

      You may be able to receive full benefits at your full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60.

      Check out our Survivors Planner web page for additional details.

      To apply for benefits, call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  6. Sharon H.

    I will be 66 January 18, 2022. When should I apply for Social Security to qualify for full benefits. I wanted to retire at the end of May.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Sharon, thanks for using our blog. If you wait until your full retirement age, you will get your full benefit. If your full retirement age is 66 and 4 months and you turn 66 on January 18, you will attain your full retirement age in May. One exception to that is for individuals that are born on the 1st of the month. We figure their benefit (and their full retirement age) as if their birthday was in the previous month.

      Your full retirement age is determined by your year of birth. You can check out our Benefits By Year Of Birth web page to understand why some people have different full retirement ages and what those ages are.

      Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due.  So, if you want your benefits to begin with May, you will receive your first benefit payment in June. The exact payment date is determined by your date of birth. For 2022 payment dates, you may find the Schedule of Social Security Payments calendar useful.

      Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. When you’re ready to apply, you can apply online.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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