Disability, General, Medicare, Retirement, SSI

Apply for Social Security Benefits Online

August 31, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: August 31, 2023

An older couple reviewing information on a laptop in the kitchenDid you know you can do much of your business online with Social Security?

This means no need to call or visit a local Social Security office.

You can take your time completing our online applications and even save your progress to return to later.

You can apply online for:

Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits

You can apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start. You must be at least age 62 for the entire month to be eligible to receive benefits.

If you were born on the first or second day of the month, you meet this requirement in the month of your 62nd birthday. If you were born on any other day of the month, you do not meet this requirement until the following month. When you’re ready, apply on our website.

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 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 website.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI also makes payments to people who are age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.

If you plan to apply for SSI, you can tell us you want to apply and we will make an appointment to help you complete the application. Or you can complete a large part of your application online.


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, and are not working, you should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65.

Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

Some people with limited resources and income may be able to get Extra Help paying their monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. People who need assistance with the cost of medications can apply for Extra Help.

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  1. Kristie T.

    I am planning on retiring in the next 6 months, but don’t have a date yet. How far in advance do I need to apply for retirement benefits?

  2. Patti P.

    I filed for early retirement benefits on January 16th. Tomorrow will be 30 days & the website still says the exact same thing it did when first submitted. It does not look to be progressing?

    • Renee V.

      I am receiving snap right now. I get 84.00 a month, my income has changed and would like to update, how

  3. Denise

    I have the same issue as Olga. Have tried to remain on the line for 1.5 hours but am typically cut off or disconnected by your phone system. I applied 11/7- no word yet. I have checked my application on line- indicates “step 2 of 3” since early December. What is your application approval timeframe running at 1/30/24? I can’t find this timing online. Your email indicates (after the application) “within 30 days” should receive a letter and my online SS “account” indicates 2-4 weeks. Can’t make an appointment at my local SS office online? so should I just walk in??

    • Denise

      Update. I went into my local SS office and they are going to assist moving my application along. I filed online and stuck in the system?! Great local office very helpful.

    • Debora

      I think the rates should be 15.00 hour

  4. George

    I am curious once you complete the application for medicare and social security benefits online is there a way to get a copy of the application? I thought i could access it on my SSA log in page but doesn’t seem to be there. Just wanted to see if there is a way to have a copy for my files.

    • Sue

      Hi, George. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. When you submitted your retirement application online, you had the option to print the summary. If you need a copy of your application, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., or contact your local Social Security office. You can check the status of your application with your personal my Social Security account.

  5. Paul H.

    .My wife is going to start her SS at full retirement age in March. When we were applying on line tonight we came across this message:

    Things you should know about your application
    We may use 01/17/2024 as the official date of your application for Social Security benefits. In order to use 01/17/2024, we must receive the signed application by 07/18/2024 or you may lose Social Security benefits.

    Based on this should we wait on applying until the actual date?

    • Karen E.

      I currently receive disability, I was told that the amount I receive should be calculated from my ex-husband income, we were married for 22 years, How do I go about reapplying using his income

      • Sue

        Hi, Karen. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you have to be age 62 or older and single, married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, and ineligible for a higher benefit on your own record. You don’t have to wait to apply for divorced spouse benefits until your ex-husband is receiving his Social Security retirement as long as he is at least 62, qualifies for benefits, and you’ve been divorced at least two continuous years. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. To discuss divorced spouse benefits with a representative or to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., or contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

    • Sue

      Hi, Paul. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Your wife can continue her online application and indicate that she wants her benefits to begin in March when she reaches her full retirement age. A protective filing date of 1/17/2024 was established when she started her application. It protects her so she doesn’t miss out on any benefits. If your wife has additional questions, she can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7 p.m., or contact her local Social Security office. To learn how she can check the status of her application with her my Social Security account, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. Bong K.


  7. Ron J.

    Am soon applying for SS retirement. See that former spouse SS number is needed. Was married for only one year in 1985. Believe I got an annulment Cant find the former spouse. Will this be a problem?

    • Sue

      Hi, Ron. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. We’ll ask for information about your former spouse only if your marriage lasted at least 10 years. For more information about what you may need to complete your retirement application, review our Checklist for Online Medicare, Retirement, & Spouses Applications. When you’re ready, the most convenient way to apply for benefits is online. We hope this helps.

  8. Cathleen S.

    I receive SSDI for years. I now have mastadic breast cancer stage 4 no cure. I need to apply for SSI because I’m not able to live on what I receive and I need to buy healthy veggies. I need help I’m scared and don’t want to die..

    • Sue

      We’re sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, Cathleen. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program that makes payments to people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. Depending on your other income and resources, you may be able to receive SSI in addition to your monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit. To discuss your SSI eligibility with a representative, please call us right away at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, visit Understanding SSI – SSI Income (ssa.gov). You may also want to check out our blog about Senior Nutrition Programs. We hope this helps.

  9. Lorna W.

    Retirement benefits

  10. Marian A.

    I hadn’t received my checks in 2 months Im 66 years old where are my checks

    • Sue

      Hi, Marian. Thanks for reading our blog. To report your missing payments, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. For more information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      • Olga

        As many times before, today on Friday after 8 am, I called at 1-800-772-1213 to ask about my retirement benefit status because I have no info during 2 month after online application. SSA said that waiting time during my call will be around 1 hour that I cannot made. Audibility over the phone was bad. The system’s phone service is very disappointing.

        • Sue

          We’re sorry to hear of your experience, Olga. For privacy reasons, we do not have access to personal information in this venue. You have several options. You can check the status of your application with your personal my Social Security account. For details, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. In addition, you can check application status if you call us at 1-800-772-1213 and say “application status&rdquo. We encourage you to work with your local office. You may ask to speak to a supervisor on your next call or visit. Wait times to speak with a representative are typically shorter Wednesdays through Fridays or later in the day. To submit feedback, visit our How can we help? webpage. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email Our Support Team” form where you can submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this is resolved soon.


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