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How To Apply For Ssa Retirement Benefits Online

How Do You Apply

Applying Online for Social Security Retirement Benefits

You can apply online by using our Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application to apply for retirement, spouses, divorced spouses or Medicare benefits.

If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check their eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If they are qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.

If your spouse applies for benefits, they need to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits:

  • Ex-spouses, if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they have not remarried
  • Children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school
  • Children of any age who were disabled before 22 that is, not earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020, having a medical condition that results in severe functional limitations and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death

Spouses and ex-spouses must be at least 62 in order to claim benefits, and spouses and children must wait for the worker to begin claiming benefits themselves before they can claim family benefits on their record.

Do We Pay Death Benefits

A one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if they were living with the deceased. If living apart, they were receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceaseds record.

If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceaseds record in the month of death.

You Can Request Your Card Online Today

Sign in or create an account to submit your request

You can replace your card online and receive it in 14 days. You can also use your account to check the status of your request and manage other benefits you receive from us.

Trouble signing in?

Start the application online and visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application.

Prefer to talk to someone?

You can start your Social Security number card application online. Once youâve submitted your request, visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application. You will need to give us some of the information you provided again.

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If You Dont Have All Of The Documents

Even if you dont have everything, dont delay applying for Social Security retirement benefits. You can provide the missing documents later. We may be able to help you get them.

In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you or find other ways to get the information we need.

If you delay signing up, you could lose some benefits you may be due.

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Signing Up For Medicare

Form SSA

Follow the steps below if you need to actively enroll in Medicare.

If you decide to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up for Parts A and/or B by:

  • Visiting your local Social Security office
  • Mailing a signed and dated letter to Social Security that includes your name, Social Security number, and the date you would like to be enrolled in Medicare
  • Or, by applying online at www.ssa.gov

If you are eligible for Railroad Retirement benefits, enroll in Medicare by calling the Railroad Retirement Board or contacting your local RRB field office.

Keep proof of when you tried to enroll in Medicare, to protect yourself from incurring a Part B premium penalty if your application is lost.

  • Take down the names of any representatives you speak to, along with the time and date of the conversation.
  • If you enroll through the mail, use certified mail and request a return receipt.
  • If you enroll at your local Social Security office, ask for a written receipt.
  • If you apply online, print out and save your confirmation page.
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How To Withdraw Your Application

  • Fill out Social Security Form SSA-521. Include the reason why you want to withdraw the application on the form. If you already have Medicare, your request must also clearly state whether your Medicare coverage should or should not be included in the withdrawal.
  • Send the completed form to your local Social Security office. We will notify you when there is a decision about your request and let you know the amount of benefits you need to repay.
  • You have 60 days to cancel an approved withdrawal. After that, you will lose any possible entitlement for the period covered by your original application.

    Effective Date Of Coverage Exemption

    The certificate of coverage you receive from one country will show the effective date of your exemption from paying Social Security taxes in the other country. Generally, this will be the date you began working in the other country.

    Certificates of coverage issued by either the Department of National Revenue in Ottawa or the Bureau des ententes de sécurité sociale in Montreal should be retained by the employer in the United States in case of an audit by the IRS. No copy should be sent to IRS unless specifically requested by IRS. However, a self-employed person must attach a of the certificate to his or her income tax return each year as proof of the U.S. exemption.

    Copies of certificates of coverage issued by the United States will be provided for both the employee and employer. It will be their responsibility to present the certificate to the Canadian or Quebec authorities when requested to do so. To avoid any difficulties, your employer should request a certificate as early as possible, preferably before your work in the other country begins.

    If you or your employer request a certificate of coverage, you should read the Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Statements below.

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    What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits

    We request different documents depending on your circumstances. You can help by being ready to provide the information and documents listed below. You can also use our Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, And Spouses Application to help you gather the information you need to apply.

    Documents we may ask for include:

    • Your Social Security card or a record of your number.
    • Your original birth certificate, a copy certified by the issuing agency, or other proof of your age.We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
    • If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept documents if they have expired. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
    • A copy of your U.S. military service paper if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
    • A copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year. A photocopy is acceptable.

    We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.

    What We Mean By Disability

    How to Apply for Social Security Retirement Online

    The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

    We consider you to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:

    • You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
    • You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
    • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

    This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

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    How Much Could My Child Receive From Social Security Benefits

    If your child is eligible for benefits, they could receive up to half of the full retirement or disability benefits youâre currently getting. If a child is eligible for survivors benefits, they can get up to 75% of the deceased parentâs basic Social Security benefit.

    However, thereâs a limit to how much your family can receive from Social Security. If the total amount payable to all family members exceeds a certain limit , each personâs benefit is reduced proportionately until the total equals the maximum allowable amount.

    As the parent, your benefit amount will not be reduced because itâs not part of the maximum allowable amount.

    The amount your child could get depends on how much you get.

    Timing Your First Benefit Payment

    You can time your first benefit payment to avoid a gap in income. Your first check won’t arrive until the month after the one you pick in your application. You can apply any time up to four months before the month you pick.

    For example, you want your first check in April. Follow this timing:

    • Apply in November, December, January, February, or March
    • Pick March in the application
    • Get the first check in April

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    Fact #: Social Security Benefits Are Modest

    Social Security benefits are much more modest than many people realize the average Social Security retirement benefit in January 2022 was about $1,614 per month, or about $19,370 per year. For someone who worked all of their adult life at average earnings and retires at age 65 in 2022, Social Security benefits replace about 37 percent of past earnings. Social Securitys replacement rate fell as the programs full retirement age gradually rose from 65 in 2000 to 67 in 2022.

    Most retirees enroll in Medicares Supplementary Medical Insurance and have Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks. As health care costs continue to outpace general inflation, those premiums will take a bigger bite out of their checks.

    Social Security benefits are also modest by international standards. The U.S. ranks just outside the bottom third of developed countries in the percentage of an average workers earnings replaced by the public pension system.

    Social Security is important for children and their families as well as for older adults. Over 6.5 million children under age 18 lived in families who received income from Social Security in 2019. That number included nearly 2.8 million children who received their benefits as dependents of retired, disabled, or deceased workers, as well as others who lived with parents or relatives who received Social Security benefits.

    Social Security lifted 1.1 million children above the poverty line in 2020, as the chart shows.

    How Do I Qualify For Social Security

    How to Apply Online For Social Security Retirement Benefits ...

    To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, in most cases:

    • You must be 62+ years old, or disabled/unable to work, and
    • You must have sufficient credits earned throughout your working life.3

    To qualify for Social Security spousal retirement benefits:

    • You must be married to a retired worker , and
    • You must have a child under age 16 or a disabled child in your care, or
    • You are 62+ years old.2

    To qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you are under the age of 62:

    • You must be 18+ years old and unable to work due to physical or mental disability, and
    • Your condition is expected to last at least a year or may result in death.3

    You still can qualify for Social Security disability benefits without earning the required 40 credits, depending on the circumstances. Your lifetime earnings and benefits help determine your monthly disability benefit amount.

    To qualify for Social Security survivors benefits:

    • You must be a widow or widower who is 60+ years old , or
    • You must be a widow or widower caring for the deceaseds child who is under the age of 16 or disabled, or
    • You must be a surviving divorced spouse , or
    • A dependent parent who is 62+ years old, or
    • You must be an unmarried child of the deceased and are:Under 18 years old , or
    • 18+ years old with a disability that occurred before you turned 22.3

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    Applying For Retirement Benefits

    This section explains what you need to know to apply for your retirement benefits. It describes the documents and forms you must provide before you can receive benefits and how to choose your pension effective date. The following section, How Retirement Benefits are Paid, explains how benefits are paid and how to choose your payment options.

    Important Topics

    Receiving Plan Benefits

    This section explains the process of retiring from work and applying for benefits. It tells you what you need to know when choosing a pension effective date and deciding how your retirement benefits are paid.

    The Plan offers three types of retirement benefits:

    • Early retirement benefits
    • Disability retirement benefits
    • Normal retirement benefits

    The shaded box below summarizes what you must do to begin receiving each type of retirement benefit.

    Before you can start receiving benefits:

  • You must meet all eligibility requirements, and
  • You must retire from employment , and
  • You must apply for benefits with your Administrative Office, and
  • The Trustees must approve your application.
  • Retirement From Employment

    In addition to meeting all of the eligibility requirements for an early retirement benefit, you must be considered retired from employment. This means you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must stop working in covered employment for all covered employers under the Plan, and
  • Retirement Benefits
    Early Retirement BenefitsBefore Age 65

    How to Apply for Benefits

    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.

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    How To Apply Online For Just Medicare

    Are you within three months of turning age 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet? You can use our online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouses benefits later. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required.

    To find out what documents and information you need to apply, go to the Checklist for Online Medicare, Retirement, and Spouses Applications.

    The Parts Of Medicare

    How to Apply for Social Security Benefits

    Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .

    • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
    • Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.

    Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

    • Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
    • Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
    • Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

    Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can sign up for Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries.

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    No : Start Collecting Early At 62

    If you live an average lifespan, though, you wont come out ahead much by delaying, because youll get fewer checks, in total, than those who started earlier with smaller checks. If you live much longer than average, though, waiting will have been worth it. But if you have reason to believe you will live a shorter-than-average life, or you simply need the money, go ahead and start collecting early. For most people, thats a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

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    Reduce The Risks Of Unexpected Bills

    Parker suggested that Americans could leverage Medicare, the federally-funded health insurance program, to offset rising costs.

    Medicare offers a wonderful savings program for aging seniors, Parker said. But, be diligent and do ample research to make sure doctor visits and prescription drug costs are fully covered under any given health insurance plan.

    Too many Americans fail to take this precaution and are hit by an unexpected bill that wipes out their cash flow and savings in the years to come, Parker continued.

    • Ex-spouses, if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and they have not remarried
    • Children under 18, or up to 19 if still enrolled in high school
    • Children of any age who were disabled before 22 that is, not earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020, having a medical condition that results in severe functional limitations and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death

    Spouses and ex-spouses must be at least 62 in order to claim benefits, and spouses and children must wait for the worker to begin claiming benefits themselves before they can claim family benefits on their record.

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