Five Ways to Apply for Social Security Benefits Online
We continue to make it easier for your clients to access our programs and benefits. Our website offers the most convenient way to apply for benefits.
Your clients can apply online for:
- Retirement or Spouse's Benefits – Your client must be at least 61 years and 9 months in age and want benefits to start in no more than four months. Apply at www.ssa.gov/retireonline.
- Disability Benefits – Your clients can use our online application, available at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – If your clients meet certain requirements, they may begin their application online at www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi - or call their local Social Security office.
- Medicare – If your clients are not already receiving Social Security benefits, they should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65 at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.
- Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs – People who need assistance with the cost of medications can apply for Extra Help at www.ssa.gov/i1020.
Please encourage your clients to visit the links above or www.ssa.gov to see other helpful information and services.
Ready for Retirement? Social Security Can Help
We’re here to help your clients make an informed decision about when to apply for retirement benefits based on their individual and family circumstances. Knowing when to begin receiving benefits is personal and depends on several factors, including the person’s cash needs, health, and family history on longevity.
Your clients should study their future financial needs and obligations while considering different sources of retirement income. They should estimate their future Social Security benefit to understand the role our benefits play on their retirement.
The easiest way to estimate their future Social Security benefits is with a personal my Social Security account. Your clients can create a free account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. With an account, they can see how much they might receive each month based on an age they want to start receiving benefits.
Your clients may also visit our retirement benefits portal to find helpful retirement information. In our retirement portal, your clients can:
- Get our retirement publications.
- Estimate their benefits with one of our calculators.
- Find their full retirement age.
- Learn about retirement benefits for a spouse and family members.
Encourage your clients to explore all of these resources at www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement.
Social Security Online Learning Tools
Our online learning resources for educators are great for teaching people about Social Security! Chances are a student will know someone who receives retirement or disability benefits. This could be a way to introduce our tools, programs, and services to a new audience, and show them that our programs help people other than retirees. Understanding how Social Security helps veterans, children, and adults with disabilities can lead to greater empathy and provide a path to inspired learning.
We offer an educator’s toolkit to engage students and educate them about our programs. You can use the toolkit to create a lesson plan. The toolkit includes:
- Lesson plans with objectives.
- Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan.
- Links to Social Security web pages.
- Talking points.
- Quiz questions and answers.
Anyone can access the toolkit at www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/educators.html. We want to help spark discussions with students about the benefits Social Security provides to millions of people. Please share our toolkit with your favorite educators today.
Retirement Planning Tips for Women
One day in 1939, Ida May Fuller stopped by the local Social Security office in her hometown of Rutland, Vermont to inquire about Social Security benefits. She knew she had been paying into Social Security, and wanted to learn more. The following year, she received the very first Social Security benefit payment — $22.54 — arriving as check number 00-000-001. Ida’s story still holds lessons for women today, and it started with her getting the information she needed.
Today, signing up for a personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount can help your clients get information tailored for them as they plan for retirement. It’s never too late to start planning.
Savings need to be an active part of your clients’ plan to take care of their financial future. They may find themselves widowed or divorced, and having to provide for themselves for many years. Unlike in Ida’s day, your clients can go online to www.ssa.gov/retirement to see if they are eligible to receive a current, deceased, or former spouse’s benefits. It might make financial sense to claim those spouse’s benefits instead of their own — since the payments could be higher based on the individual’s own earnings history.
Encourage your clients to follow Ida’s example and learn more about the role Social Security plays in their financial future.
Top Five Fraud and Scam Prevention Tools
Knowledge is power and having the right tools to fight fraud can make a huge difference. Knowledge can also help your clients protect their loved ones. We put together a list of the five most important resources about Social Security scams everyone should know about:
Please share these resources about scams with your clients.