General, Online Services, Retirement

Get Educated about Your Social Security Benefits

January 7, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A photograph of a mentor educating two students in front of a computer monitor.Summer’s just a memory, the days are cooler, and children are comfortably settling in their back-to-school routines. You should take this time to “hit the books” and learn more about what Social Security offers at our website.

If you’ve been to our website before, you’ll notice the new homepage is even better. We redesigned it based on your feedback. The top suggestion we received was to list all of our content on one page so that’s what you’ll see when you visit You’ll now find it’s easier than ever to find what you want without reading through a lot of links.

The new home page is also easier for mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. Everything on the home page is accessible regardless of the browser used to access our site.

We want to answer all your burning questions about Social Security, so we’ve redesigned our frequently asked questions (FAQ) site as well at to make it easier to find the answers you need. Here you’ll find a link to the most popular FAQ’s as well as topics categorized by subjects such as “Medicare,” “Social Security Number and Card,” and “Same-Sex Couples.”

In launching the new FAQ site, we consolidated about 500 topics to less than 200 and revised the language to be clearer and more easily understood. This year, our redesigned FAQ site won the “Clear Mark Award for Distinction” from the Center for Plain Language.

Whether you’re starting to think about retirement, or if it’s far in the future, a good place to begin is with Social Security’s benefit planners at Here you can use our planners to help you understand how Social Security can provide for your financial future through retirement, survivors, and disability benefits.

Our Retirement Estimator at is a great tool to help you know how much in Social Security benefits to expect. After entering a few pieces of information, the Estimator makes use of your reported wages from years past and projects your current earnings in the future to give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can change the variables, such as the date you expect to retire and your future earnings, to see what you can expect in different scenarios.

For a more accurate picture of what you’ll receive from Social Security, you’ll want to join the nearly 20 million individuals who have registered for a my Social Security  account at

Registering only takes a few minutes, and then you’ll be able to view your earnings history, get an estimate of your benefit amount at retirement, and print your Social Security Statement.

If you’re truly ready to say goodbye to the daily grind, then it’s exciting to know that retirement is only a few clicks away. You can retire at www.socialsecurity/applyonline from the comfort of your favorite reclining chair or while sipping a drink at your local Wi-Fi hotspot. In most instances, there are no papers to sign or documents to provide and the process only takes a few minutes.

Thanks for cracking the books with us! Just know that wherever you are on life’s journey, you can count on Social Security’s online resources to help!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Jessica

    Dental benefits should be covered. Medicare recipients live almost in poverty. The income is limited, so why is there not enough money for increases. There are increases for weapons.

  2. Lic. P.

    It’s very important to know all information about the Social Security Administration. The program of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We must know that the SSI, it’s part of the Social Security Administration, but it’sn.t from the taxpayer. It’s part of the business of the Federal Government, for example:
    the U.S. Postal Services, U.S. Citizen and Immigration,
    and others.


    • Susan

      believe it or not, the post office is not a part of the government!

  3. Dorothy L.

    I just don’t understand that we did not get a raise on our social security, when grocery prices keep climbing, rent increases, Heating homes and apartments are rising. Medical expenses never stop. Yet, My husband spent years in service in WW11. Over seas in North Africa and Europe, and I never received payment for his headstone. When I phoned about it, I was told 6 mos. had passed, How come no time limit for the pow’s during that time.

  4. Pushing 6.

    Question. I am 65; turning 66 in 2016 and married. I was married to first husband for 14 years. I believe this year, I am still able to claim on the social security of my first husband and defer my own benefit….is that correct?

    • Ray F.

      Generally, you cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record if you remarry unless your current marriage ends. See our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced for more information on this topic.

  5. Mr. J.


    Confidential Location
    Harlem Social Security Office
    302 W. 126 Street, 4th Floor
    New York, NY

    All Customer Representatives, and Supervisors
    RE: Confidential Inform my SSA Office:
    I am Blessed to Continue Recieving my Social Security Benefits,(Living Right Financially on SSD),1/2002. God’s Will, and Therafter, December, 2063

    Mr. Jermaine Johnson(Blessed to see my Mid 40’s)
    looking forward in seeing more years, with the Social
    Security Administration, “The 4,and 5, 6,and7, 8,and 9
    Client: Harlem Social Security Office, December, 2010
    Recipeient: Physically SSD(Social Security Disability)
    Reading, and Receiving emails about Social Security.
    Education, and Knowledge is Essential for all Mental,(Behavioral Healthcare), and Physically Disabled SSD Reciepents, including myself. The Ameican’s with Disabilities Act, 1990, Provides Rights for All Ameicans with Mental(Behavioral Health), and Physical Disabilities. This is the Year of 41st President George H.W Bush’s 92nd(June 12, 2016), My President, ’89-’92, October 28th, ’92),President Bush 41, fougtht the Battle with hs own Life Experiences of having a Physical Disability(Parkinson’s Disease)during the early 90’s,he become wheelchair bounded during, 2005. Our Struggles of having the Life,and Work Experiences is over 10 years. I am glad to have the full Educational, and Life Experiences of Receiving SSD, 1/2002-Presently. Reading and staying informed with the many changes of the Social Security Administration 1/2002-Presently, God’s Will, and thereafter, December, 2063..

    Did have a Son February 22, ’93(23)yrs, Not in my Custody, My Decision,Child Support, and Visitation ONLY, My Decison, August, 2000

    This is my 15th Year Clean and Sober A Fighter for Life and Recovery April, 2001

    It’s a Healthy, Prosperous, and Safe New Year!

    Jermaine Johnson
    A Friend(7)

  6. sani A.

    how can I get ssn I am not American citizen I am an Ethiopian and live in Addis Ababa.

    • Mary D.

      You shouldn’t be allowed to collect if your not a US citizen. If you personally paid into social security and your of age, then and only then you should be allowed to collect.

      • Spring

        Paying Social Security is definitely a must but remember the required 40 work credits and consider the substantial years of earnings when estimating a benefit.

  7. Paul M.

    I would like to add my support for Dental Care being covered by Medicare. Our Oral health effects our whole Body. Is it realistic to let this part or our body decline without help??

    • Jack

      Why dental is not cover????????????

      • Ajdin

        Wow, that is impressive. Kudos to the SSA folks for all their hard work imnvpriog the process!Larry, the link to the full report comes up as invalid. There looks to be an extra http: in the URL. Might want to update the link.

    • sporty

      Social Security is not Medicare and does not cover any health care. Social Security deduct the Medicare premium from your check. You need to go to and pose that question. I agree that Medicare need to cover some Dental and Vision Care, esp glasses and hearing aids. When people need these items and service most a lot cannot afford it.

      • Marc

        Hear, hear. Thank you for injecting a modicum of intelligence to this idiotic discussion. It’s astonishing how many people are collecting benefits yet they have no clue as to where those benefits are coming from – yet they have the nerve to demand even more!

  8. W R.

    My wife and I are both 66. Last year I claimed and suspended my benefits, and she filed a spousal claim. Neither one of us are drawing on our own earnings record, so why are we both unable to get an estimate of our individual benefit now or at age 70?

    Those numbers are left off our MyAccount Statement, and we cannot access our own Retirement Estimator.

  9. Jo p.

    our “benefits” appear reduced rather thanb meeting cost of living…WHY. yes our dental should be covered. please explain.

    • Jack

      Yes EXPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Linda S.

    Hi this is Linda S.Pittman
    I am talking for others who don’t know where to start at on this matter.
    Why are we not getting a raise in check like we have been getting every year.
    And why we don’t get all dental work,on our Medicaid program,even after we turn 21 years old.

    • Charlie M.

      The reason we are not getting a raise is because of Global Warming which is the BIGGEST LIE the Obama Administration has ever come up with. Global Warming is a Democrat SLUSH FUND to help elect
      Democrats. They always push it more during an election year.

      • larry w.

        That reply is so wrong it makes me ill. No raise due to the very low inflation rate. Not a surprise, well covered in the press. nothing to do with politics

        • Charlie M.

          The U.S. Labor Dept. is the one that sets the inflation rate. When a disaster like the drought in California they claim is due to Global Warming and produce prices rise, when there is a drought in midwest and beef, pork and chicken prices rise they don’t count that as inflation. Prices haven’t fallen according to lower gas prices because gas prices could go up anytime. Obama says it all the time that Global Warming and guns is the cause of everything wrong. I thought everyone knew this.

          • Ray

            It is difficult to believe that people like you have not be flushed out of the gene pool yet….

        • Erika

          When was the last time you bought milk, bread, eggs etc.? all the every day groceries have gone up quite a bit. The only thing that came down is gas and some real estate. So the low inflation rate only appears to be for items we don’t need on a daily basis. All the utilities have gone up, healthcare has gone up and what about things like toilet paper and paper towels, not to mention cleaning supplies? I don’t know what rock you live under, but come out for a reality check once in awhile. We never got much cola anyway, but our senators think they deserve a substantial cost of living increase.!!!!!!!

      • CyndeeS

        Charlie you’re priceless!

        • Linda

          100% agree with Charlie Massey

          • Marc

            Figures. Anyone ignorant enough to ask the stupid question you did here would believe an insane answer like Charlie’s. If you REALLY want to know why no COLA raise this year, look to Congress, NOT the President. He has nothing to do with Social Security. CONGRESS decides whether or not to grant Social Security recipients an increase every year. And BTW, BOTH houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans. Regarding Medicaid and dental coverage, that’s a STATE concern. Social Security has NO CONNECTION with Medicaid, none. Ask your case worker or go to your state’s OFFICIAL website. I agree 100% with the incredulity of the poster who wonders how some people have managed to remain in the gene pool. Beats me too.

      • sporty

        Global warming started before President Obama. Its because of the inflation that begin begin and was caused by Bush and took affect on the Pres. Obama watch.

    • Dalston

      jay l dahlJanuary 20, 2010Howard:I just read the article on socail security retirement benifits. The retirement estimator is an excellent tool to help you determin when to apply for retirement benefits.I have also looked over other parts of your website and find it to be very informative as to tax preparation, SSI benefits, long term care issues and tax planning. Thank you for making this information easily available to your tax clients.Jay

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