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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Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

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  1. Everett K.

    I have called the Janesville Social Security office a couple times and have received conflicting answers each time. Can I set up an appointment to meet with someone to sign up for social security?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Everett. Thanks for using our blog. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors. If you feel you have a critical situation, please check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more information.

      If you are referring to an application for retirement benefits, our system is set up to take applications four months in advance, and when you’re ready to apply for retirement benefits, you can apply online.  If you need further assistance or cannot apply online, call us at 1-800-772-1213 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.  Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal.  We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  2. Jacqueline B.

    I was married for 30 years and we divorced in 2015. He was court ordered to pay my bills instead of alimony but he now won’t do it. Went back to court and his golfing buddy judge ruled for him. Now I’m not able to work due to multiple issues and no bills getting paid. I filed in July but still waiting to know something. I pray for some good news soon. I’m in bad shape.

    Reply
  3. RNIAR

    My non working spouse of 25 years has degenerative nervous disease. He is in the process of getting his citizenship. He is 61 years old. Will he be able to Apply for disability or SSI while I am still working?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi RNIAR. We are sorry to hear about your spouse’s condition.  In certain cases, non-citizens can receive Social Security benefits.  But, in order for him to receive benefits, we must have evidence of his lawful presence. That means before we can pay out benefits for any given month, we must have evidence that he was lawfully present in the United States, during that month. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Denise D.

    My husband turns 65 soon and plans to work a couple of mo this past his 65 birthday so that I will be covered by his large employer’s health insurance until I turn 65. Is it a good idea for him to get Medicare Part A on his 65th birthday and delay Medicare part B and Social Security until his retirement date?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Denise. Thank you for using our blog to ask your question. Your husband’s initial enrollment period (IEP) begins three months before his 65th birthday, includes the month he turns age 65, and ends three months after that birthday. He may want to enroll in Medicare Part A and B during his IEP depending on when he’s retiring. The date his coverage starts depends on which month he signs up during his IEP. Coverage always starts on the first of the month. Check out the Medicare web page When Your Medicare Coverage Starts to review the enrollment chart.

      If your husband is continuing to work beyond his IEP, and has medical insurance coverage under a group health plan based on current employment, he may not need to apply for Medicare Part B at age 65. He may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP) that will let him sign up for Part B during:
      •Any month he remains covered under the group health plan and employment continues.
      •The 8-month period that begins with the month after his group health plan coverage or his employment ends, whichever comes first.

      We always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.

      If your husband has additional questions, he can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or contact his 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  5. Karen S.

    Does this mean that if you are getting early retirement benefits and you have not yet reached your full retirement age, but become disabled, that you can’t file on-line for disability benefits? Since the field offices are closed, how would you do it?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Karen, thanks for using our blog. If you’re under your full retirement age, you absolutely can apply for disability benefits.

      To apply for disability benefits, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
      • Cynthia P.

        I am 68 been on social security disability since 2012. Can I still fill for my full social security retirement

        Reply
        • Patty

          Hi Cynthia.  Thanks for using our blog to ask your question.  Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries become full retirement age.  The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits on one earnings record at the same time. We hope this helps.

          Reply
  6. Rosa M.

    I hope in the very near future, it will be possible to sign up my Social Security account from abroad. I live in BRAZIL and am not able to have any account.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Rosa, thank you for your suggestion. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

      Reply
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  10. Barbara R.

    How do I find out what my Ex- Husbands Social Security benefits would be for me since he passed away day before yesterday. We have been divorced 13 years and were married 55 years before the divorce. He was ordered by the Court to pay alimony of $2,250.00 per month. I am 82 retired since 2005, have some disabilities and the alimony just barely pays my bills and medical+ RX. My SS pays all of the medicine. Thankyou

    Reply
    • Patty

      We are very sorry for your loss, Barbara. 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. For more information, please visit our Surviving Divorced Spouse webpage.

      For your security, we do not have access to your information in this venue. To inquire about potential benefits on your deceased ex-spouse’s record, you will need to 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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