Social security offers full retirement benefits that you can apply for in a short amount of time. Benefits can be applied for online and there is no need to actually drive down to the local office to speak to a representative. Once you have submitted an application electronically this is often all you need to receive the full benefits status. If you are considering retirement or you need benefits for the future that your company may not provide, the process may be simpler than you may think.
Before applying for social security benefits check to make sure that you can meet the requirements of application:
To apply for social security benefits you cannot currently be receiving any other social security benefits on the record associated with your Social insurance number. You must also not have applied for retirement benefits in the past. Apply for benefits with you are at least 61 years of age and 9 months old and do not apply for benefits more than 4 months before you may require them.
You can still receive retirement benefits if you have medicare or an HAS. If you are within 3 months of 65 years of age you can use both retirement benefits and medicare or just medicare if you would prefer.
In order to get started with the application there are some things to consider with social security benefits:
When you need to start benefits; You can begin receiving benefits at 62 or up to 70 years of age.
Benefits are reduced based on the time you start them: If you start your benefits at 62, they will be reduced until you reach full retirement age. Continuing to work can also reduce your benefits.
Full retirement age: Full retirement age is usually between 66-67 years of age depending on when you were born. This full retirement age can effect the total amount you are given in benefits based on when you need benefits and apply.
Delayed credits: If you start receiving benefits after full retirement age you can receive credits for the funds you missed in benefits.
Expectancy: Living past the average life expectancy for your age does not result in a decrease in benefits and you will continue to receive the same benefits you got at 62, 66 or 70 when you applied for benefits.
Other points to consider when applying for benefits include your current health, whether a partner may also receive benefits on your behalf as well as how long you think you can live to receive benefits.
A full list of documents required for a benefits application/ spousal benefits application include:
To get started applying for benefits online, just go to the SSA gov website and click the apply for retirement benefits button.
Proceed to fill in the online application and remember that you can skip questions to go back to them or save an application if you need clarification on a particular question. If you remain on the application for 25 minutes of inactivity you will receive a warning but you will be able to click a prompt and remain on the page.
Once the application is completed successfully the Social security administration will check the validity of the data you provided and you can be held liable for presenting false information. Make sure you present truthful information before you submit the info officially.
Sign into your application electronically when you are ready to submit and click the submit now button when your application is fully completed.
After the application is submitted it is placed in review. The SSA may take several weeks to review the information and they can provide extra information upon review about other family members receiving benefits on your work record or you being able to receive extra benefits on a spouses work record as well.
After presenting this extra information you will have the option to reply for the application and with the full information and documents the SSA will send you an official letter declaration in the mail on whether or not you will be receiving benefits.
If you are not comfortable using the web form you can bring your information to a Social security office or complete the application over the phone.
Citizens who are not currently in the US can also apply for benefits by contacting the closest US SSA office or going to a USA consulate or Embassy.
The official phone number for SSA retirement benefits is open 7am-7pm Monday to Friday at 1-800-772-1213.