When can I apply for benefits? It depends on what type of benefits (retirement, ex-spousal, disability, etc.) you are applying for. The earliest you can collect Social Security retirement benefits is age 62 and you can complete the application process when you are 61 years and 9 months of age. It is recommended that whatever age you plan on filing for Social Security benefits, you should apply 3 months in advance.
How do I apply for retirement benefits? The simplest way to apply for benefits is by using the Social Security Administration’s online application. You can also apply by phone or by an appointment at your local Social Security office. Keep in mind that many offices are closed due to Covid-19.
How can I prepare for the application process? It is suggested that you determine your exact Social Security claiming strategy before starting the application. A Registered Social Security Analyst (RSSA) can help you find the optimal time to claim benefits. Then gather all of the information you need to complete your application. This includes your Social Security number, dates of current and previous marriages, employer names, and bank account information.
What documents are needed to apply? When completing the application online, you will be informed of which documents you need. These include your original birth certificate, proof of citizenship or lawful alien status, and a copy of your W-2.
How will I know if my application has been approved? The SSA will review your application. If they need more information, they will contact you. You will then receive a decision letter in the mail.
Learn more about applying for retirement benefits here.