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It’s More Convenient Than Ever to Apply for Social Security Benefits

July 6, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

man and woman looking at each other and smiling You’ve worked hard your whole life, and receiving your Social Security benefits should be the icing on the cake at your retirement party. We’re working hard to make it as quick and seamless as possible for you to apply for benefits from Social Security.

Simply visit our Apply for Social Security Benefits page to get started. Through our safe and secure website, you can apply for:

  • Retirement benefits.
  • Spousal benefits.
  • Medicare.
  • Disability benefits.
  • Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
  • Supplemental Security Income.

You don’t have to be internet savvy to finish most of our online applications in one sitting with your computer. Or, if you prefer, we offer you the options to apply in person at your Social Security office or by telephone with one of our application representatives. Please call 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays to schedule an appointment.

You should also call us to schedule an appointment if you wish to apply for certain family benefits, including those for surviving spouses and children, divorced spouses and dependent children, and parents of beneficiaries.

After you’ve applied for benefits — whether online, by phone, or in person — you can securely and quickly check the status of a pending claim through your online my Social Security account. If you haven’t created your account yet, you can do so today.

You can also use my Social Security to view estimates of how much you would receive in retirement benefits and potential disability benefits and how much your loved ones could receive in family or survivor benefits.

We’re with you throughout life’s journey, from applying for your first job to receiving your first retirement payment. And we’re proud to help ensure a secure future for you and your loved ones.

To learn more about our programs and online services, please visit our website.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Imogene J.

    i would like to apply for social security due to a disabilty i have severe arthritis and backaches.

  2. victoria c.

    I need to make an appointment I called the 800 number and was put on hold for 40 min just to give all of my information was told to hold after 15 min on hold again I was disconnected. please help me get an appointment to apply for social security. I am 66 and will retire on my birthday in March 2019

    813-477-2195 victoria cornette

    • Vonda V.

      Hello Victoria. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having in making an appointment. We currently do not have an online appointment scheduler. However you do not need an appointment to file for benefits or appeal a disability decision. You can file for the following benefits online:
      Medicare; and

      If you do not want to apply for benefits online, or you need to speak to us for any other reason, you can schedule, reschedule or cancel an appointment by:
      •Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; or
      •Contacting your local Social Security office. Thanks!

    • Ray F.

      We’re sorry that you had difficulty reaching someone by phone, Victoria. We may have been experiencing higher than normal call volume.
      Generally, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call us later during the day or later in the week. Representatives at our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      We currently do not have an online appointment scheduler. However you do not need an appointment to file for benefits. You can apply for your Retirement Benefits online.
      Just a reminder – We do not have access to personal information, therefore, we do not do provide direct assistance in this venue. Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media and communicating personal information via email. Thanks!

  3. Cheryl B.

    How long is the process between applying for early retirement at 62 and receiving benefits.
    (When should I apply if I am currently 62 and want to start receiving my benefits in June 2019?)

    • Ray F.

      Hello Cheryl. Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance, and you can apply for your benefits online. Keep in mind that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of June, you will receive your first benefit payment in July. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information.

  4. Deborah A.

    I would like to schedule an appointment to review my social security benefits. My full retirement age will be on my birthday in about 2 weeks. Early morning appointments work best or afternoon if i may have some options please.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Deborah, thank you for using our blog. To make an appointment, call our national toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. business days. However, keep in mind that many of our services are conveniently available anytime at our website. We encourage our customers to create a my Social Security account. With a personal my Social Security account, you can get estimates of your retirement, disability, Medicare and survivors benefits, review your earnings record and much more.

      In addition, Social Security has an online calculator called a Retirement Estimator that provides immediate retirement benefit estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. Plus, it also allows you to create “what if” scenarios. You can, for example, change your “stop work” dates or expected future earnings to create and compare different retirement alternatives.

      See our Benefits Planner: Retirement web page for more retirement planning information.

  5. Mark I.

    Can’t find my ssa log in account and password

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Mark: See our Frequently Asked Questions web page for information on how to retrieve or change your password. If you encounter a problem, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”.

  6. Joe

    Sometimes having a print copy of the entire application is helpful/necessary. I have been searching for a PDF file of the application for retirement benefits to no avail. I am not ready to enter responses online as I would like the print copy to prepare. How do I get one?

  7. Miriam A.

    I called to try to get some information on applying for benefits but the staff person was so rude that he actually hung up on me. He stated that he did not have enough detailed information to give me answer and i told him that i don’t know and that is why i was calling. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he said many staff were at a party as many people were retiring!!! I could not believe what he said. I was a state employee and never would answer anyone like that. He kept on asking questions and was not one bit patient. He did not seem like he wanted to help me at all.

  8. Don N.

    My back pain did not allow me to continue my seasonal job. My bending and stooping is painful. What do I do now.
    I am losing income.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Don. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability benefits when they become disabled. Thanks.

  9. Jesus M.

    Need to know how to change my bank for deposit of my social security monthly check.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Jesus. Thanks for the question. If you’re receiving Social Security benefits (retirement, survivors, or disability), you can start or update your direct deposit information by using your personal my Social Security account.

      If receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or unable to conduct business online, you can start or update your direct deposit by contacting the bank, credit union, or savings and loan association or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

      See our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.

  10. Judy B.

    I am trying to set up an appointment at my local office but can’t find a website or number to call to do that

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