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

July 6, 2017 • By

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 www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits 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; and, in some cases,
  • 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 by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

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 www.socialsecurity.gov.


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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

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  1. Liz Silva

    I got a call that I have an appointment tomorrow 1/10/19
    at Social Security. I have been trying to reschedule my
    appointment, but no one ever answers the phone to reschedule my appointment. Please help.

    Reply
  2. STEVEN SHUSTER

    I want to start receiving benefits at my FRA which will be in June 2019. When is the earliest date I can apply?
    Thank you for your response.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hello Steven. 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.

      Reply
  3. Nancy Meyer

    I am unable to make an appointment at my local office……. everytime I call the 800 number they say no one is available to make an appointment and to call back again! This has been going on for many days! What can I do? Thank you

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hello Nancy. We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulties making an appointment. Keep in mind that you do not need an appointment to file for benefits or appeal a disability decision. You can file for the following benefits online:
      Retirement;
      Medicare; and
      Disability.

      If you do not want to apply for benefits online, and you’re unable to make an appointment, you can visit your local Social Security office. Be sure and check out their office hours.

      Reply
  4. Sylvia Brown

    I did not receive my first pay check in January 2019

    Reply
    • Ann Clifton, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Sylvia. If you do not receive your payment on the scheduled pay date, please contact your bank or financial institution first. They may be able to determine why your direct deposit failed. If you still need to report a late, missing, or stolen Social Security payment, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office. We will review the case and if the payment is due, we will replace it. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. Lynda S Barber

    Do I qualify to receive spousal benefit on my husband? He is 68 and retired. I am 63 and receive disability.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Lynda, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. We will always pay a person’s own retirement or disability benefit first. If benefits as a spouse are higher than their own benefits, they will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, keep in mind that a spouse’s benefit cannot exceed one-half of the worker’s full retirement amount (not their reduced benefit amount). So, a person is only going to receive additional spouse’s benefits if their own full benefit is less than half of their spouse’s full retirement benefit.

      Generally, during the initial interview when applying for Social Security benefits, we typically explore all other benefits that could yield you a higher benefit amount. To find out if you are eligible for a higher benefit amount, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or contact your local Social security office. Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Sally J Butler

    make scheduling an appointment at a local social security office online easy to do.
    i need to take my marriage license to an office as the next step to get my social security payment and it is impossible to easily find a service to schedule. this complaint includes making a call. i tried that too and i was redirected to call again

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Sally, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. Please use our Office Locator to locate your local office address, including their office hours, a map and directions. You do not need an appointment to drop off requested documentation.

      Reply
  7. James SLomka

    I wanted to apply in person and set up an appointment but the office in Mt. Prospect Il does not have a direct line OR allow you to make an appointment.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi James. 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:
      Retirement;
      Medicare; and
      Disability.

      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.

      Reply
  8. Robert Rollins

    How soon can I receive my benefits for age 63, if I apply after my 63rd birthday. Will I get the back pay for 63, for the months I skipped, because I was late in applying.
    Thank you Rob Rollins

    Reply
    • Kenny Oguejiofor, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hello Robert, please bear in mind that the decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We only provide you with the information you need to help you make the best choice according to your own situation.

      As to your particular question, you will not be paid “back pay” for the months you skipped because you applied late. If a worker begins receiving benefits before his/her normal (or full) retirement age, the worker will receive a reduced benefit. A worker can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30 percent.

      We have a variety of calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. You can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and get an estimate of your future benefits. We hope this information helps!

      Reply
  9. Laurie K

    I am an attorney and I am surprised that no where on the site does it address the application date and the eligible date. If my husband is turning 66 in a few weeks and age 66 he is entitled to his full retirement benefit, is that benefit NEGATED if the APPLICATION is made BEFORE that date? If SSA says the “date of your application is May 8th” does that mean that he has mistakenly applied BEFORE age 66 and gets a reduced benefit? There has to be instructions as to how to apply without JEOPARDIZING your age-eligible date if you apply EARLIER than that eligible date.

    Reply
  10. Tanya Katnic

    How do I apply for Medicare Part “A” ?

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Tanya. Thanks for your question. If you are already getting Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically at age 65. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. To learn more about Medicare visit here. We hope this helps.

      Reply

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