What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it. Only the agency that authorized the payment can explain why you received it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
What We Will Ask You
- Your name and Social Security number
- The deceased worker’s name, gender, date of birth and Social Security number
- The deceased worker’s date and place of death
- Whether the deceased worker ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income
- Whether the deceased worker was unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time during the 14 months before his or her death
- Whether the deceased worker was ever in the active military service
- Whether the deceased worker worked for the railroad industry for 7 years or more
- Whether the deceased worker earned Social Security credits under another country’s social security system
- The names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of any of the deceased worker’s former spouses and the dates of the marriages and how and when they ended
- The names of any of the deceased worker’s unmarried children under age 18, age 18-19 and in elementary or secondary school, or disabled prior to age 22
- The amount of the deceased worker’s earnings in the year of death and the preceding year
- Whether the deceased worker had a parent who was dependent on the worker for 1/2 of his or her support at the time of the worker’s death and
- Whether the deceased worker and surviving spouse were living together at the time of death.
If you are the surviving spouse, we will also ask:
If you are not the surviving spouse, we will also ask for the surviving spouse’s name and address.
Documents You May Need To Provide
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
- An Adult Disability Report that collects more details about your illnesses, injuries or conditions, and your work history
- Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results and
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
Retirement And Spousal Benefits
Youll need to provide an array of personal and work information, including:
- Your date and place of birth.
- Start and stop dates for jobs held in the past two years .
- Military service, if applicable.
- The routing number of the bank where you want Social Security to deposit your payment, and the number and type of your account.
Social Security provides a complete checklist of what youll need for your application.
When you can file: The minimum age to apply for both retirement and spouse benefits is 62, but monthly payments are higher if you wait longer.
Where to file:Online, by phone or in person.
Also Check: Dic Benefits And Social Security
Documents You Need When Applying For Social Security
When its time to apply for your Social Security benefits, youll need to have the following documents in hand:
- Your Social Security card
- Your original birth certificate, or a certified copy
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
- Military service papers, if applicable
- Your W-2 form from the last year
If you cant access any of these documents for one reason or another, dont hold off on applying. Your local Social Security office can help you obtain certified copies or equivalent information, or you can submit them later on in the process. Delaying signing up for benefits could result in you losing benefits.
Note that the SSA can accept photocopies of some of these documents, such as your W-2 and tax returns. However, youll need to submit the original of other forms, such as your birth certificate.
Applying For Social Security Benefits
Social Security offers an online retirement, disability and Medicare application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes by visiting: apply for retirement or Medicare only or apply for disability benefits.
It is so easy. Better yet, you can apply from the comfort of your home or office at a time most convenient for you. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, youre 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.
You can apply online for retirement benefits if you:
- are at least 61 years and 9 months old
- are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
- have not already applied for retirement benefits and
- want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future.
This service is only for individuals applying under their own social security number.
If that is not your case, please request an appointment by completing our internet inquiry form.
Social Security Benefits for foreigners or non-U.S. Residents
If you are not a U.S. resident or a U.S. citizen, but worked over 10 years in the U.S., under your own Social Security number and are over the age of 62 and you would like to inquire about your eligibility to U.S. social security retirement benefits you can submit your inquiry completing our internet inquiry form.
Also Check: What Is Medicare Give Back Benefit
Next Steps For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
Evidence required by DDS for case documentation
Once you apply for disability benefits with the SSA, the Disability Determination Services , a division of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, will review your case. DDS will review medical information and vocational information, if necessary, that includes:
- A history of all work performed in the last 15 years
- A description of the physical demands and skill requirements for each job
- Educational history
When all required medical and vocational information is received, the disability examiner and staff physician and/or psychologist carefully evaluate each claim, using a sequential evaluation process.
The following people or agencies can help supply the information that is needed to process a claim for disability benefits.
- Treating physicians and psychologists
- Consultative examinations authorized by the DDS
Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
How To Get A Social Security Card
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
- Those who are currently retired
- To people with disabilities
- To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits
Tips For A Successful Retirement
- Saving for retirement requires a strong financial plan and smart investing. A financial advisor help you on both fronts. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesnt have to be hard. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Dont forget to include Social Security payments in your retirement plans. They may not have a titanic impact on your finances in retirement, but they can line your pockets with some extra cash when you might need it. SmartAssets Social Security calculator can help you get an idea of your future benefits.
- If you are thinking about where to retire, SmartAssets retirement tax-friendliness tool can help you figure out how your Social Security benefits, property taxes, and retirement account and pension withdrawals will be taxed in each state.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Apply For Social Security Benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance
For SSDI, the document requirements are considerably broader and the application is lengthier. Along with the usual personal data , youll need to provide extensive documentation of your medical history and treatment and file an Adult Disability Report.
The SSDI process also includes an interview, in person or by phone. Youll find detailed information in Social Securitys Adult Disability Starter Kit.
Where to file:Online, by phone or in person.
Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
How To Apply Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
On Go Direct’s FAQ page, learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
You May Like: How To File For Social Security Benefits
What You Need For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
You will get a faster decision when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with the Social Security Administration if you provide:
- Your Social Security number
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
- Laboratory and test results
- Names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
- Names of all medications you are taking
- Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years
If you are applying for a child, you also need school records regarding your child’s disability.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don’t have all this information.
If you think you may be eligible for payments, call 772-1213 to file a claim or contact your local Social Security Office . You must contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits. If you are looking for an online application for either SSDI or SSI visit ssa.gov. For an update on case status call the Vocational Disability Examiner as identified in your introductory claimant letter
Other Information Your Social Security Application May Ask For
If youre married, youll also need to provide your spouses name, Social Security number , date of birth and age. Youll also need to have the date and place of marriage, and this goes for any former spouses as well. For logistical purposes, youll want to indicate what month you want your benefits to begin, and youll need to provide your banks routing number and your account number.
As part of your application, you can also indicate if you would like to enroll in Medicare Part B, but youll have to be eligible.
You should also note in your application if:
- You have any unmarried children under the age of 18 or disabled children under the age of 22.
- Youve ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf
- Youve ever used a different SSN
Don’t Miss: What Are My Ss Benefits When I Retire
How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 39,437 times.
If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. Spousal benefits allow you to get up to 50 percent of the total benefits your spouse is eligible for without taking away from their benefits. If you’re eligible for your own retirement benefits, you’ll get those first. However, if your spouse was in the workforce longer than you or made more money, spousal benefits could add to the overall benefits you receive. You apply for spousal Social Security benefits the same way you claim your own retirement benefits.XResearch source