How to Complete the Social Security Application.
If you’re a Social Security Administration beneficiary, you can claim benefits by completing the retirement and spouse’s benefit application online as early as age 62 upon early retirement or as late as age 70 at delayed retirement. You should claim Medicare benefits at age 65 by completing the online form. Unless you’re disabled, you can’t claim an early Medicare benefit at age 62.
Call the Social Security help line at 1-800-772-1213 if the form you’re looking for isn’t available. If you need assistance or have questions concerning any benefit claim, SSA representatives are there to help. Once you gather the information needed to submit an application, find the form you need at www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html.
If you’d like to apply for Social Security Administration benefits but live outside of the United States, contact the United States Embassy, consulate, or nearest Social Security field office for an application. Use the following information to complete the appropriate Social Security application after visiting www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html.
Prepare to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits
Prepare to complete the retirement benefits or spouse’s benefit claim by gathering information. For Social Security Administration retirement benefits and/or the spouse’s benefit application, have the following details on hand before starting to fill out the form you need at www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html:
- 1. Your birthplace and birth date. If you were born in another country, provide the original name of your birth country (if it is known by another name today).
- 2. Note that you can claim an early retirement benefit at age 62. However, SSA uses your full retirement age (FRA) between the ages of 66 – 67, depending on your birth year, to calculate your maximum monthly payment. If your FRA is 66 years and two months and you claim retirement benefits at age 66, SSA will consider this early retirement claim. In this scenario, your monthly benefit is permanently lower than it would have been if you’d claimed benefits at FRA.
- 3. Provide your permanent legal resident number if you aren’t a U.S. citizen.
- 4. Supply information about your marital partner and/or divorced partner, such as your current spouse’s name, his/her date of birth and SSN, beginning/ending date of marriage(s), and the city, state, or country in which the marriage took place if it occurred outside of the U.S.
- 5. If you have children, provide names and birth dates of children who are less than age 18 and unmarried, age 18-19 and still full-time secondary school student(s), and names/birthdates of children who were disabled before he or she reached 22 years of age.
- 6. Present information concerning your military service or your spouse’s military service, including branch/type of duty and service dates.
- 7. If you’re employed, provide employer information for the year in which you’re applying and the previous two years. Provide employer(s) name(s) and employment start-end information. Review earnings on your SSA Statement at My Social Security Account online. If your SSA earnings differ from actual W-2 and/or 1099 earnings, notify Social Security Administration right away. Follow the steps to correct this information.
- 8. If you’re self-employed, review your SSA statement and compare net income to the Social Security Administration record. Provide the type of business you operate and your total net income for the year in which you complete the claim and for the prior two years.
- 9. Supply your personal bank account information to receive direct deposits from SSA. Provide your account number and type of account plus the bank routing number.
- 10. If you use an international or non-US bank, supply the IDD/ International Direct Deposit bank country, bank name, currency type, and bank code along with the branch and transit number with your personal account number and type.
Complete the SSA Retirement Benefits Claim
Enter the information you gathered above into the online SSA claim. It will take you approximately 10 – 30 minutes to enter the information needed, depending on your circumstances.
It isn’t necessary to complete the form in a single sitting. Simply save the form at any time and return to it at your convenience.
SSA representatives will contact you with any questions about the information you provided. You may also check the claim status online.
Prepare to Apply for Medicare
SSA reports that most beneficiaries complete the Medicare claim form in less than 30 minutes. Gather the following information before accessing the page you need at www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html:
- If you receive Medicaid (sometimes referred to by a different name in your state), provide start-end dates and your state health insurance card number for Medicare only.
- Provide details about your current health insurance coverage, including employment information for you and/or your spouse and any coverage received from a group health plan.
Medicare age isn’t the same as your FRA age and you can’t claim early Medicare benefits at age 62. If you’re disabled, completing the claim for SSA disability is the first step towards getting early Medicare coverage at or before age 62. Review the claim forms you need at www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html.
Complete Your Medicare Claim Form
Follow the same steps as above to complete the Medicare claim form. It’s possible to complete the form in one sitting but, if you’d like to save the input and return to it later, just click “save.”