How Long Are You Allowed To Stay On Each Page
For security reasons, there are time limits for viewing each page. You will receive a warning after 25 minutes without doing anything, and you will be able to extend your time on the page. After the third warning, you must move to another page or your time will run out and your work on that page will be lost.
When Can You File For Social Security
The earliest when you can apply for Social Security benefits is at age 61 and nine months, and you can expect to receive your first payment four months laterthe month after your birthday. Typically, Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due or must be specified. For example, the Social Security website states that an individual who wants their benefits to start in May will receive their first benefit check in June.
For example, if you turn 62 on Dec. 15, then your first full month of eligibility is January, and your payment for that month will arrive in February. If you have already reached age 62 and met all other eligibility criteria, then you may begin collecting benefits in the same month when you apply if you specify, although your first payment still would not arrive until the following month.
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
Read Also: Maximum Social Security Disability Benefit
How To Apply For Retirement Benefits
This page explains the process on how to apply for your retirement benefits. If you have questions or issues on applying for these benefits, then you would need to contact your local office. To find a location near you, please use our Social Security office locator. Social Security recommends you apply online, however if you prefer to apply in-person you should call your local office and setup an appointment. This is not required, but an appointment may speed up the application process. When making your appointment, you can ask the person to verify what documents you need to bring to complete your retirement benefits application.
Social Security does highly recommend you apply using their online system. You can easily complete the application process in as little as 15 minutes at your house using your internet connection. Usually once your application has been submitted, you are done. There are no forms to sign and in most cases, no documentation is required. Social Security will process your online application and contact you if any additional information is needed.
If you prefer to complete your application in a language other than English, the online application will give you the option to schedule an appointment to apply for benefits in your preferred language. The online application is currently only available in English.
Social Security: Can I Apply For Benefits Online
Applying for benefits online is perhaps the easiest way to apply for Social Security benefits. You can begin your online application through the SSA portals website. Before you apply, however, there are some important things to take into consideration.
Social Security Expands Its Online Benefit Application To Include Spouses Benefits
- The Social Security Administration has expanded its online Benefit Application, the online application that has allowed users to apply for Social Security Retirement benefits since November 2000, to include the ability to apply for Social Security Spouses benefits.
- Effective April 2001, wives and husbands of individuals applying for retirement benefits may also apply for spouses benefits online.
- Approximately 700,000 people apply for spouses benefits annually.
- Approximately 47 percent of those who apply for spouses benefits are also eligible for a retirement benefit based on their own work. By using the Internet application process, these individuals will only need to complete and sign one application for both benefits.
- The Internet application allows individuals to apply for their retirement and spouses benefits at their convenience.
- Interested individuals can now apply for Social Security retirement and spouses benefits online at www.ssa.gov Social Security Online Social Securitys Internet site or
- They can go directly to www.ssa.gov/applytoretire, the location of the online Benefit Application form.
- To use this service, people must be 61 years and nine months or older and plan to startreceiving benefits within four months. SSA advises people to file for benefits three months before they want their benefits to begin.
- Applicants must meet certain criteria to apply for benefits using the online application:
- Agree to receive their benefits by direct deposit.
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.
What Happens If You Dont Have All The Required Documents
If you dont have all the documents needed when applying for social security, you will still be able to proceed and complete the application without the documents. You are allowed to provide the missing documents during the application process.
If some cases, you can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics to help you verify your information and find the missing documents.
The Cola Will Have Tax Implications For Some Seniors
In some cases, the 8.7% increase in monthly Social Security payments will push seniors into income ranges where Social Security benefits become taxable. The federal tax code requires Social Security taxpayers to calculate their combined income, which is defined as their adjusted gross income, tax-exempt interest income and half of their Social Security benefits.
Those who earn a combined income of less than $25,000 a year for single filers or $32,000 for joint filers pay no tax on their Social Security benefits. Taxpayers earning between those thresholds and up to $34,000 for single filers or $44,000 for joint filers pay tax on up to 50% of their benefits. Above those levels, up to 85% of Social Security benefits are taxed.
Because of the high COLA in 2023, many Social Security beneficiaries who dont pay income taxes now might be pushed into income levels where they are taxed. Others might face higher tax rates.
Read Also: When Can You Get Social Security Benefits
How Can I Increase My Retirement Benefits
There are multiple ways you can increase your retirement benefits. This article mentioned a few ways briefly. Below is a list of other ways you could increase your benefits payment.
Social Security benefits can be increased by:
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.
Don’t Miss: Roth Ira And Tax Benefits
Social Security: Apply For Social Security Benefits Online
Did you know, you can do much of your business online with Social Security? This means no need to call or visit a local Social Security office. You can take your time completing our online applications and even save your progress to return to later. You can apply online for:
Retirement or Spouses Benefits You can apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start. You must be at least age 62 for the entire month to be eligible to receive benefits. If you were born on the first or second day of the month, you meet this requirement in the month of your 62nd birthday. If you were born on any other day of the month, you do not meet this requirement until the following month. When youre ready, apply at www.ssa.gov/retireonline.
Disability Benefits You can use our online application, available at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline, to apply for disability benefits if you:
– Are age 18 or older
– Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
– Are unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death and
– Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied, our online appeal application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made. Please visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.
Please share these helpful resources with your friends and family.
Three Ways To Apply For Social Security
If youre approaching retirement and youre thinking about how to start your Social Security benefits, you have three options for how to apply:
- Go to your local Social Security office.
- Open an account and apply online .
Each approach offers some benefits and drawbacks, so consider which works best for you.
What Youll Need To Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits
If youre applying for Social Security benefits online, youll need to if you havent already.
According to the Social Security Administration, youll need to provide the following information on your application:
- Date and place of birth
- Social Security number
- Name, Social Security number, and date of birth of your current spouse and any former spouses, as well as dates and places of marriage, divorce, or death if applicable
- Names of unmarried children under the age of 18, age 18-19 and in elementary or secondary school, or disabled before age 22
- The account number and Routing Transit Number of the bank account you would like your benefits deposited into
- Citizenship status
- Whether or not you or anyone else has ever filed for Social Security, Medicare, or SSI on your behalf
- Whether youve ever used another Social Security number
- The month that you want your retirement benefits to begin
- If you are within three months of age 65, whether or not you want to enroll in Medicare Part B
Additionally, you will need to provide the following information about your work history:
Remember to bring the original documents to prove your identity! Photocopies are only accepted for a few types of documents.
In some cases, you may need to provide the following documents to the Social Security Administration:
Recommended Reading: Tax Benefits Of Incorporating In Delaware
What Documents Do You Need For Social Security
There are various documents that you may need to provide to receive social security. Some of these documents include:
- Social security card
- Proof of US Citizenship or alien status if you were born outside the US.
- Copy of W-2 Form and/or self-employment tax return for the past year.
- Copy of military papers if you had military service before 1968.
- Bank account information
- Spouseâs social security number and date of birth if you are applying as a former spouse.
If you had submitted some of these documents for an earlier Social Security or Medicare claim, you wonât be required to provide the specific documents again.
Don’t Miss: Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
Who Is Able To Apply Online For Retirement Benefits
You can apply online for retirement benefits or benefits as a spouse if you:
- Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
- Are at least 61 years and 9 months old
- Have not already applied for retirement benefits
- Want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future.
Submit Using A Paper Application
To apply by paper, complete the Application for a Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension form and mail it to us, or drop it off at a Service Canada office.
- If someone is helping you apply
You can give permission to a person to contact Service Canada on your behalf by signing in to your My Service Canada Account or by completing the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form .
This form does not give the person helping you authority to:
- apply for benefits on your behalf
- change your payment address
Also Check: Federal Government Employee Housing Benefits
Social Security: Is The Latest Cola Increase A Reason To Collect Early
One of the biggest decisions youll have to make as you approach retirement age is when to start collecting Social Security benefits. You can begin collecting as early as age 62 and as late as age 70, and most financial advisors recommend waiting as long as you can to ensure a bigger monthly payment.
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.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Social Security
Its important that you plan for when you want your benefits to start. They are not turned on like a water faucet. If youre claiming Social Security retirement benefits, plan on at least six weeks for your application to be processed. However, if your application has incorrect information or the agency is backlogged, it could take up to three months before benefits begin, warns AARP. However, you cannot apply for benefits more than four months before you want them to begin, according to the Social Security Administration.
So its a good idea to start the application at least three months before you want your benefits to start. Otherwise, you may end up with a deficit in your finances during the transition period.
Replacement Card For A Us Born Adult
You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you may not need to get a replacement card. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in immigration status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.
You may be able to request your replacement Social Security card online. Our online service is a fast and secure way to get a replacement. If you are age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address and have amySocial Security account, you can apply for a replacement card online. For more information about creating my Social Security account and getting a replacement card online, visit our Social Security Number and Card website.
Recommended Reading: Medicare Plans With Give Back Benefit
Why You Can Trust Bankrate
Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.
Our reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most how to save for retirement, understanding the types of accounts, how to choose investments and more so you can feel confident when planning for your future.