By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
The idea of applying for Social Security retirement benefits might seem daunting, but it’s not. There’s no need to visit an office. You don’t have to use the phone. We have an online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes and from the comfort of your home or office. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed.
It’s as simple as that. You can start your application now at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/retirement.
You can apply online for retirement benefits or benefits as a spouse if you:
- are at least 61 years and 9 months old;
- are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
- have not already applied for retirement benefits; and
- want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than 4 months in advance.)
You’ll have to create or sign into your my Social Security account as part of your application. If you don’t have an account yet, this is a perfect time to create one. Just as important, this is where you will be able to check your application for benefits. Like our other online services, my Social Security is available on your time and there’s no waiting in line or on the phone. You can see your entire work history going back to your first job to make sure we have all of your wages correctly tallied. Create or sign into your account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Are you curious about how much your retirement benefits will be? You can get an idea of what your benefits will be using our Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
Social Security provides services for millions of people, but we also want to make your experience with us as simple and easy as possible. Our many online services, including retiring online, are part of that mission. You can access more at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org