When Should I Apply? Approximately three months before you want the benefits to begin, this allows the SSA time to file the paperwork and get things in order.
How Can I Apply? There are three ways:
- Online: It’s easy to apply through the SSA website, or,
- Telephone: 1-800-772-1213, they can take your application over the phone or,
- In Person: You can go into an SSA office to fill out and submit your application. To schedule something, you can call 1-800-772-1213.
What Information Will You Need?
- your Social Security number
- your birth certificate
- your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year
- your military discharge papers if you had military service
- your spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits;
- children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if applying for children’s benefits;
- proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you (or a spouse or child is applying for benefits) were not born in the U.S.; and
- the name of your bank and your account number so your benefits can be directly deposited into your account.
They will want a certified copy of your documents or the original, I recommend sending in certified copies because you don’t want to have your originals lost in the mail (especially documents like your birth certificate).