How do I apply for Social Security benefits?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Aug 23, 2012
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
The quickest way to apply for benefits, according to the Social Security Administration, is to apply online; alternatively you can schedule an appointment at your local social security office by calling their toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213. For disability, survivors, and supplemental security benefits, the Social Security Administration recommends that you apply as soon as you are eligible. For retirement benefits, they recommend that you meet with them about a year before you plan to retire or retire from your own business.
When applying for Social Security benefits, you will be required to produce documents such as:
- Your social security card;
- Your birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate (if based on your spouse’s Social Security account);
- Your most recent W-2 form if you are an employee or your most recent federal income tax return if you are self-employed.
Additional documents may be required by the Social Security Administration – if so, they will let you know what they need. Even if you do not have all of the required documents currently in your possession, go ahead and start the application process – the Social Security Administration can assist you in getting the documents during the application process.