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. David M.

    Excellent article! Applying for social security benefits can be helpful for many.

  2. MEL

    1. What is the “6-month protected filing” date? What is the significance of that date?
    2. When I began filing out my application for benefits, I was given the option of receiving benefits 6 months prior to my application date and 4 months after that date? I had hoped to begin receiving benefits starting in July 2024 (it is now December 2023). If I choose a date 6 months before my filing date, how does that change my monthly benefit? When would the pre-filing monthly benefits be paid? Would this be a lump sum “catch-up” payment and then regular monthly payments thereafter?

    • Sue

      Hi, Mel. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. A protective filing date was established when you first called us to make an appointment to apply for benefits or when you started your online application. The date protects you so that you don’t miss out on any benefits. For your security, we do not have access to your private information in this venue. For answers to your questions, please call your local Social Security office. Wait times to speak to a representative are typically shorter Wednesdays through Fridays or later in the day. We hope this helps.

  3. Teri B.

    If I turn 62 on the 15th of a month and I want to make sure I have my social security benefits in that month because I will no longer be eligible for my social security supplement that I receive in my retirement annuity from OPM. How early can I sign up for social security on line so that I am not financially impacted when my supplement is no longer available.

    • Sue

      Hi, Teri. Thanks for visiting our blog and for your question. To begin receiving reduced retirement benefits at age 62, you must be 62 for the entire month. If you turn 62 on March 15, you’ll want your benefits to start in April. You’ll receive your April payment in March because we always pay benefits a month behind. Check out our Retirement Planner for more information. You can apply up to four months before you want you retirement benefits to start. When you’re ready to apply, you can complete the online retirement application in as little as 15 minutes. We hope this helps.

  4. Gloria M.

    Hi “when i can i for Retirement”–I am 63 years old–People at work’–‘Levys Stadium “Santa Clara’-CA’–Prep”–since–July 31,2018–November 19,2023″)(‘and–Oakland A’s–’50/50 Raffle Tickets”–‘July 31,2021″–September 2023″)(‘to many at work’–dislike me around–i work so hard–on time–just–ever–since– my car–mess up–dealer–FH Chervolet–and–Midas’–‘Thank you very much”–Union 76–hayward’–oil change’)(“November 27,2023”)(“6:31am”)

    • Sue

      Hi, Gloria. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. The decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can provide you with information and resources to help you make the best choice based on your situation. We encourage you to create a personal my Social Security account and review your Social Security Statement. You’ll see how much you’ll get in retirement benefits when you apply at different ages between 62 and 70. These personalized estimates are based on your earnings to date.

      In addition, our Retirement Planner discusses other factors you may want to consider as you plan for your retirement, including paying for healthcare, continuing to work, and getting benefits as a spouse. If you need additional assistance, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

  5. Bubacarr S.

    Am happy to Apply for the job as care assistant at the Social Security office in the USA 🇺🇸

  6. arturo O.

    I am 74 tears old and have been receiving ss and medicare part B benefits for 9 years. I did not opt for Part D coverage for medications. Is it too late to apply for Part D? Can I pay a penalty and get Part D coverage?

  7. Tammy L.

    My son has Down syndrome. Can he or I Apple for benefits for him? He will be 18 in February

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tammy. Thanks for visiting our blog and for your question. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program that pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources. Once a child reaches 18, we only count the child’s income and resources to determine their eligibility for SSI.  

      To find out if your son might be eligible for SSI and to schedule an appointment for him, visit our Who Can Get SSI webpage. We hope this helps.  

  8. Patti W.

    I have been trying to fax my initial medicare paperwork. I have been given 2 fax numbers, and tried sending multiple times. Please give me a fax number that will work. Bad #’s – 833-914-2016 and 833-914-2027. Fax reply says No answer. Thank you

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Patti. We are sorry to hear about your experience, but we do not have a list of all the fax numbers that Social Security uses.  You can also contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

      • Marie D.

        I need apply for SSI please need social security direct deposit for social security direct deposit ok

        • Sue

          Hi, Marie. Thanks for reading our blog. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program that makes payments to adults and children with disabilities, and people 65 and older, who have limited income and resources. To find out if you might be eligible for SSI and to schedule an appointment, visit our Who Can Get SSI webpage. For help with your direct deposit, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Wait times to speak to a representative are typically shorter Wednesdays through Fridays or later in the day. We hope this helps.

  9. Amber

    1.Can I receive Social Security benefits if I retired from work at age 60?

    2. What is the income limit for receiving Social Security benefits? I currently don’t work. I eventually plan on becoming a sub teacher.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Amber. Thanks for visiting our blog. The earliest age you can get retirement benefits is 62, but you can wait. If you choose to get benefits before your full retirement age, they will be reduced. You can create a personal my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. For information about receiving benefits while working, please visit here. We hope this helps. 

  10. Peter

    I’ll be 66 and a half in January and want to keep working. Will I be able to collect benefits and is there a video that can walk someone through the process of enrolling for social security. Thank you !

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Peter. Thanks for visiting our blog. It sounds like you will be your full retirement age in January. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, your earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. For more information, please visit our Receiving Benefits While Working page. You can also find out how to apply by visiting our Retirement Planner page. We hope this helps. 

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