Online Services, SSI

Five Things You Can Do Online with Social Security

November 16, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 6, 2023

smiling woman sitting on her couchYou want to enjoy the fall weather, and Social Security’s online services free up your time to lounge in a hammock in your backyard or take your dog on a long walk. You can safely and conveniently conduct most of your business with us anytime, anywhere. There’s no need to visit a local Social Security office.

When you’re ready to retire, you can do it online in 15 minutes or less. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits has never been easier! The secure site will only ask questions pertaining to your situation, and we provide links to more information. There are examples to help you along the way.

With a my Social Security account, you can also get your Social Security Statement showing how much you paid in Social Security and Medicare taxes through your working years. You can use your Statement to verify your earnings history so that you receive the correct payment amount when you become eligible for benefits. And speaking of your future benefits, your Statement also shows estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits.

And, when you need it, you can get a benefit verification letter to prove you receive Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare. Your personal my Social Security  account also allows you to change your address if you’re already receiving benefits, and to start or change your direct deposit information.

You have all that at your fingertips, and you never had to leave your hammock!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Jose

    I applied for disability, got it and started to receive it in August of 2015. Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare(Part ?) after 2 years on disability? Also, I have private insurance(family coverage) which I continued from my previous employer(civilian federal government employee). Is the medicare just for me or will it cover my family? Is it advisable to keep my regular insurance and also have medicare? Is there a benefit to having both? Thanx.

    • shelleyrae

      I was automatically enrolled in Medicare 2-1/2 years after date of disability. However the Cobra plan I had from the State I worked for was not available once I had Medicare. That’s okay because I no longer had to pay $450/month for premiums.
      But Medicare is only for you, not family. So you may be able to keep your private ins.
      Check with your current insurance Before it gets to that point.

      • Jose

        Aileen, do you have Part A and B? Do you also part regarding prescriptions? Thanx.

    • Ray F.

      Good questions Jose. You will receive Medicare after you receive disability benefits for 24 months. We start counting the 24 months from the month you were entitled to receive disability, not the month when you received your first check. We will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you will have the option of turning it down. We strongly suggest that you speak to your health benefit advisor or health plan representative to see what options are best for you. Medicare does not provide family coverage. We hope this information helps.

      • Jose

        Thank you Ray

  2. Donna

    I am currently 62 years old, my husband passed away 15 years ago. Did not take widows benefits. Can I collect now off his his benefits and continue working?

    • Helen

      Yes, you can receive widow’s benefits and continue to earn delayed retirement credits on your own benefit. However, survivor benefits are subject to the earnings test until you are full retirement age.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Donna. If you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. (age 50 or over if you are disabled). At this time, if you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record (but haven’t applied yet), you may have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date. You can work while you receive Social Security benefits, but if you make more than the yearly limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. Please read our publication: How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information. To make an appointment or to speak to one of our representatives, call our toll free number 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  3. Dan

    I would expect to see clearly a bulleted or numbered list of five things that I can online with SSA. I think that the important information gets lost in the narrative format. It makes the readers work to ferret out the things they can do online.

    • Lynda

      I agree. I can’t find all 5 either. Bullet and then expand on each please!

      • Deirdre S.

        You can apply for social security retirement benefits, SSI, SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid. Each option is explained at my social security online.

      • Kent

        This would be particularly desirable for the emails that get sent out announcing a new blog entry. This would permit readers to quickly get top-level information and determine if they want/need more by clicking to a web page with the full post.

        The email for this particular entry was unfortunately free of actual content: “You want to enjoy the fall weather, and Social Security’s online services free up your time to lounge in a hammock in your backyard or take your dog on a long walk. You can safely and conveniently conduct most of your business … Continue reading →”

        A succinct, bulleted summary would be perfect for each email and also act as a table of contents of sorts for the blog posting itself.

        Much appreciate all of your efforts with this blog, which definitely has useful information. Hope this suggestion can make it even better.

        • bettyg

          you all hit it on the nail on this one; too wordy.

          * be SUCCINCT and use bullets that are bolded;
          * then expand comments for each bolded comment.


          bettyg, iowa

        • Ray F.

          Thanks for your comment Kent ! We value your thoughts and suggestions as we look for ways to improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated

  4. Clemon V.

    I am an 88 year old veteran confined to a wheel chair and live on my benefits from social security and the veterans administration. I need a small short term loan for holidays will Social Security loan me $300.00 with me paying back in monthly payments in Jan., Feb., and March of $100.00 each month. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • Jasn n.

      You can get a signature loan or title loan or checking account loan at just about any check cashing store for the holidays just call around just watch your interest rate.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Clemon. Social Security does not make loans to beneficiaries.

  5. Joe

    Does my spouse need to be retired in order to receive the 50% spousal benefit? She is 66 years old, still working until June 2016, and we do not want to lose this benefit come June. Thank you, Joe

    • Lynda

      I think you have to be receiving SS for her to get spousal SS. If you are not; you can file and suspend (the strategy that is being discontinued soon). If you ARE receiving or file and suspend she can file a “restricted application” and receive 50% of your FRA benefit or if you took it early 50% of your benefit because SHE is FRA. At FRA she won’t lose some of her benefit because she is working which is what would have happened if she applied for early SS..

    • Ray F.

      Thanks for your question Joe. It appears that at 66 your wife has reached her full retirement age. She can now file for benefits and continue to work. Please read our publication How Work Affects Your Benefits for more details. At full retirement age, she can receive full retirement benefits on her own record or receive half of yours. If she is eligible for both, we pay her own benefits first. If her benefits as a spouse are higher than her own retirement benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling a higher amount.
      Your wife should contact her local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for more information about her situation. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, callers have a shorter wait time if they call later in the week. We hope this information helps!

  6. Mary

    The article is true – it is easy to apply and receive support. I applied for SSDI on-line and received it inside of 3 months. I found the on-line process to be ez because the process was designed for the form-phobic. It had only a few questions per screen. You could stop and save the effort at any time. You could correct anything. Bravo to the design team.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you Mary! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward. Please continue to use our services online.

  7. vida a.

    Can an individual apply for food stamp online? Thank you

    • Jasn n.

      No you cannot and ssi has nothing to do with foodstamps yoy can get a application sent to you online but you still need to show up to your local office to receive benefits.

      • mau123

        That is dependent on the state where you live. In New York, you can do the app online. Then they will want documentation sent to them. If they want to see you in person and you can’t travel there, you can do a phone interview.

    • Deirdre S.

      Yes you can apply for food stamps online, at least in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Which are states that I am familiar with.

    • Ray F.

      To apply for benefits, or for information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to contact your local SNAP office. You will also find a list of States that allow you to apply online. We hope this information helps!

    • mau123

      YES you often can! Depending on the state you live in, there are different websites that can help you do it. Your State’s Dept of Health is where to start. If it’s available where you are, you’ll be asked to mail in your documentation. Some States will let you upload it. The modern world is encroaching on Food Stamps (now known as SNAP). You might be required to have a phone interview as well.

  8. Lewis T.

    the guidelines for disability have not been revised since 1978 and need updates to reflect current conditions….there are many rejections because sufferers either do not meet the guidelines or do not present sufficient evidence that they do…some lawyers can help for a large fee but even they are sometimes denied.

  9. douglas j.

    I opened an account a long time ago. I forgot my username and password. Can I open a new account or otherwise reestablish my credentials?i

    • Deirdre S.

      If you know the email address you set up the original account with you can click on forgot my password and a new temporary password will be sent to you.

    • shelleyrae

      Social security and Medicare set up new systems recently. Even if you had an account you need to start fresh.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Douglas! We are sorry you are having difficulty with your personal my Social Security account. For assistance, please call 1-800-772-1213. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  10. Deborah S.

    I have been unable to work since 2011. I have been denied by Social Security over and over again. I’m 6 months out on a newly broken leg and have to have more surgery because the leg is not healing at what point does social security decide I’m crippled enough to receive benefits?

    • Diana

      It took my husband over 3 years and a lawyer to get 100% disability. Only good thing they pay back to the date you filed, if you filed.

    • Paula B.

      Get a good attorney, one who specializes in Disability.

    • Scott K.

      Get a *local* lawyer who does Social Security law to help you. They’re the ones who know the idiosyncracies of the local judges and offices, and who know the local doctors and medical providers so can urge detailed reports from them.

    • Hank

      I’m sorry Deborah, Social Security requires TWO broken legs for disability.

      • Janet

        Oh my God!

Comments are closed.