Are you almost retiring? Prepare to submit your Social Security application online.
To cut costs and anticipate the 80 million baby boomers to retire over the next 20 years, the SSA is ramping up its website and online services.
If you haven’t been on the SSA website lately, you should stop by for a visit. In addition to a design makeover, the site is also more user-friendly with the most requested services listed on the front page for easy access.
What can you do online?
One of the services you will see is the ability to submit your application online. While most people go to the SSA website to claim retirement benefits, that’s not all you can do directly on the website. Here are a few things you can do online on the website:
– Apply for a pension, partner or disability benefit
– Apply for a replacement social security card
– Sign up for Medicare or ask for help with your Medicare prescription drug costs
– Appeal against a decision (for example, if you were denied disability benefits)
– Estimate your future pension benefits with the benefit calculator
– Change your address or phone number
– Research popular baby names
– And much more …
Why do you have to submit your Social Security application online?
If you’re one of 10,000 baby boomers expected to retire every day between now and 2029, here are some reasons why you want to submit your application online:
1. The online pension application can be completed in just 15 minutes,
2. You can claim benefits from your own home, and
3. You don’t have to drive to your nearest social security office or stand in a long line.
How to Apply for Social Security Benefits Online
You can submit your benefit claim online if you are at least 61 years and 9 months old and live in the United States or one of its territories and you are not currently receiving benefits in your own state. You may also not have already applied for the benefits.
Please note that the SSA will not be able to process your application if you apply for benefits more than four months in advance, so do not apply until and want your benefits to start no later than 4 months in the future.
It is also important to note that if you are automatically enrolled in Medicare within 4 months of reaching the age of 65 when you submit your retirement application online.
To start your online application, simply go to socialsecurity.gov and click on “Apply for retirement benefits” (there are also links to apply for disability benefits and Medicare benefits if that is your goal).
After clicking the ‘Apply for Retirement’ button, you will be asked a series of questions about yourself, your work and your family. The whole process takes about 15 minutes, and in most cases you are done sending once (no need to email your request, the whole process is done online).
After you submit your Social Security application online, the SSA will review your application and contact you if more information is needed or if they require documentation.
In addition to requesting benefits for yourself, you can also help a friend, family member, or neighbor submit their application online, but for privacy purposes, you will need to complete an additional step or two. If your family member or neighbor is with you when you apply for him, just select the button on the first page that says “I’m helping someone who wants to claim benefits and is with me.” If the person is not present, select the button “I help someone who is not with me and therefore cannot sign the application at this time”. In the latter case, you must print the application and have the person sign it before sending it.