You made it to the age when you’ve decided to start receiving paychecks from Social Security instead of paying into it.
Understand the application process
You can apply for Social Security by phone, in-person or online.
Here is the process:
- Gather the information and documents you need to apply.
- Complete and submit your application.
- Social Security reviews your application and contacts you if they need more information.
- Social Security will mail you a decision letter.
- You start receiving your retirement benefits.
Before applying, be ready to provide your Social Security number and information about:
- Dates of current and previous marriages, and where you were married.
- U.S. military service dates and branches.
- Employer names and dates for the past two years.
- Self-employment income and type of business.
- Bank information to set up your direct deposit.
- Information on family members who may be eligible to receive benefits on your record
Certain documents that will be needed:
- Original birth certificate or religious certificate showing your age before 5
- Copy of W-2 tax forms or self-employment tax return from last year
- A copy of your U.S. military service papers if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
How to apply
The easiest way to apply is online. You will sign in to your mySocialSecurity account (or create one) and then complete the application.
When completing the application online, you can save it and come back to it later.
If you would like to apply over the phone call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to apply by phone.
When should I apply?
You can apply up to four months in advance of when you want your benefits to begin.
According to Social Security, you don’t reach a certain age until the month after your birthday, unless you’re born on the 1st or 2nd.
For example, if you turn 70 on November 10th. You’re not eligible to receive benefits at 70 until December. You can apply as early as August.
If you turn 70 on December 2nd, you’re eligible to receive benefits at 70 in December and you can apply as early as August.
When do my benefits show up in my bank account?
Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month they are due. If you are due benefits for the month of December, you will receive your first check in January for December.
In our first example, the individual who turns 70 on November 10th has to wait until January before he receives his first Social Security deposit.
Here is the link to apply: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/apply.html