Online Services, SSI

Don’t be Spooked about Retiring Online

October 29, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 6, 2023

woman holding a light jack-o-lantern Vile vampires and wicked witches are some of the classic scary monsters that haunted us as children. As adults, some of the scariest parts of our day might be all the stresses that come with everyday life. Medical appointments, car maintenance, and running errands — it can be overwhelming enough to make us want to scream.When doing online business with Social Security, you can put your fears behind you. There’s nothing scary about filing for Social Security benefits online. You can do it while snacking on holiday candy from the comfort of your home or office. Applications for retirement, spouse’s, Medicare, and disability benefits are all online.

If you don’t wish to use the online application, or the application for the benefit you want isn’t available online, you can:

  • Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
  • Visit your local Social Security office. An appointment isn’t required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply.

Almost like magic, when you create a personal my Social Security account, you can:

  • Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year.
  • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you’re still working.
  • Get an instant letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them.
  • Manage your benefits:
    • Change your address.
    • Start or change your direct deposit.
    • Get a replacement Medicare card.
    • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

That’s the kind of magic we continue to deliver with our world-class customer service. We hope you tell your friends and family about how we’ve taken the fright out of filing online!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Donald R.

    I am having massive trouble finding a way to apply for ssa benefits. On the website. There should be a spot to put all my info to summit

    • V.V.

      Hi Donald, thanks for using our blog. Check out our online services web page. Under the Apply for Benefits heading you will see links to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare and an appeal. We hope this is helpful!

  2. bill s.

    I turned 66 in December 2020. Can I apply this month (Feb) for retirement benefits that would be retroactive to December?

    • V.V.

      Hi Bill, thanks for using our blog. We do allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after you have reached your full retirement age. No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before reaching your full retirement age.

      Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. The exact payment date is determined by your date of birth. For future pay days, you may find the Schedule of Social Security Payments calendars useful.

      You can apply using our online retirement application. In the application path, it will ask when you want to start your retirement benefits. We hope this is helpful!

  3. Amy C.

    I need a benifits income survivors letter and I am locked out of my account .

    • V.V.

      Hi Amy, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter. You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

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