Disability, Online Services, Retirement, SSI

5 Ways to Apply for Social Security Benefits Online

September 16, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

  1. Laura

    How long does it take in 2022 for a denial letter to be sent, after a decision is made? I see that SSA will “assume” an applicant receives a letter five days after it is sent, and the online system tells me to expect a letter in “10 to 15 days”; however, I have seen people mentioning cases where the letter was not mailed for 30 days or more. How is this fair when apparently there is no way to “prove” a letter came so late (are they sent registered mail?), and people are only given 60 days (plus those five) to appeal? Can one appeal before the letter arrives?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Laura.  If you do not agree with our decision, you have the right to file an appeal. You must make your request within 60 days from the date you received your notice of denial. For more information about appeals and how to apply, visit our Appeal A Decision page. Thanks!  

  2. Agustin v.

    Im applying for SS online but am confused on some of the questions regarding income from my two employers.I am an independent contractor for both.Employer 1 takes out for SS and medicare the other one does’nt .On my SS earned income only wages from #1 employer appear.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Agustin. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can address in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Darlene

    If my husband passes away Can I collect his SS.? We have been married 6 years Someone told me you have to be married 10 years. Thank you.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Darlene. Generally, a surviving spouse or widow meets this requirement, if the marriage took place no later than 9 months immediately preceding the day on which the worker died. You are eligible to apply for survivor benefits when you reach age 60 (age 50 or over if disabled). However, there are other factors that may affect your entitlement to these benefits. For more information, please visit our If You Are The Survivor webpage. We hope this helps. 

  4. Katherine C.

    My husband turned 66 in December. He wants to start drawing his SS asap. When should he fill out the forms to start. We know the 66 and months, but do we wait until February? It takes several months to start and he doesn’t know if he will loose benefits.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Katherine. Thanks for the question. If you are referring to an application for retirement benefits, our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. When he is ready, he can complete the online application for Social Security retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. Thanks!

  5. james c.

    my wife has a ss account set up. now as i try to set up my account using the same email i get a denial message

  6. Marsha M.

    I lost my husband March 2021, due to covid. He was 62 and still working. He was a federal employee for 35 plus years . I have started to draw his annuity, that state and federal taxes are taken out. I have not worked since April 2019, due to my health issues . I was planning on filing for my SS Disability before my husband passed away, because I had tried several different treatments to try and get better, but got worst. How will the SS I have paid in effect what I get each month from my husbands retirement if I file for Disability or wait until I turn 62 ?

    • Vonda

      Hi Marsha, we are very sorry for your loss. If your deceased spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60. If you are disabled, you could begin receiving benefits as early as age 50, if the disability started before or within 7 years of your spouse’s death. Your survivor benefit amount would be based on your spouse’s earnings. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be. The benefits will not be established automatically, you will have to contact us. To make an appointment to file for survivor benefits, you can 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.

  7. Debbie R.

    Why does no one answer the phone. It very hard find the help you need if everyone is hiding in their homes not helping the public. And of course they are getting paid.

    • gloria b.

      I am having that same problem. I cant reach them by phone and the office is closed. What can we do?

      • Vonda

        Hi Gloria, thanks for using our blog. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call 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.

        • Jena B.

          Vonda I am having the same issues. When you call a local office their automated announcement states all agents are busy telling you to call back (not wait in turn for next available agent) and then the call is ended. I have call soooo many times and can’t get through. I will be calling the national number Monday but wonder if I am going to get the same ending results.

    • Gregory H.

      They Get Sick too from dealing with sick folks
      My understanding is that they are slowly getting back to the offices tho.

  8. Wayne G.

    During 2022 I will be 74 and my wife turns 70. She has been receiving SSA benefits as spousal only benefits (1/2 my amount) since her FRA. Now that she is turning 70 we want her to file on her own record (more than 1/2 my amount). How does she apply for her own benefit on her record?

    • Vonda

      Hi Wayne, thanks for using our blog. Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance, and when your wife is ready, she can apply for her retirement benefits online.

      If she’s unable or would rather not apply online, she can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or contact her 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.

  9. Paul G.

    Social Security Administration what exactly are “YOUR RULES?”
    ON MY 7TH DENIAL LETTER, IT CLEARLY STATES: “DOCTORS AND OTHER TRAINED STAFF LOOKED AT MY CASE AND MADE THIS DECISION. THEY WORK FOR THE STATE BUT USED “OUR RULES.”
    SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE “OUR RULES?” It seems as though if you would’ve allowed these “state employed doctors” use their education they worked so hard to get and utilize, they would’ve deemed me disabled!
    But, instead you judgemental pricks who don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, sit behind your oak desks and cast judgement on people you don’t know a damn thing about!!! #SocialSecurity

    • Gregory H.

      You upset Bro??

  10. Francisco

    I applied for my SS and Medicare in Oct. 2021. My application is still in review in Brooklyn. How long does this take? should I postpone or re-apply?

    • Vonda

      Hi Francisco, thanks for using our blog. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call 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.

Comments are closed.