Supplemental Security Income Application Process And Applicants’ Rights
CHECK IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SSI AND HOW TO APPLY
We strongly recommend you check the eligibility requirements for SSI before you start your application or contact us to make an appointment. If you are unsure you may qualify after reading these requirements, call us at 1-800-772-1213 .
You can apply for SSI benefits by:
Visiting our Apply Online for Disability Benefits website to start the disability application process online. You may be eligible to apply for SSI through the online disability application.
Having someone else call and make the appointment for you or assist you with your application for SSI. For more information, see our chapter on HOW SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR SSI or
WHEN TO APPLY
Apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. We cannot pay benefits for time periods earlier than the effective date of your application.
If you call us to make an appointment to apply and you file an application within 60 days, we may use the date of your call as your application filing date.
If you are in a public institution but you will be leaving within a few months, you may not be eligible for SSI until you leave. You may, however, be able to apply before you leave so that SSI benefits can begin quickly after you leave. Check with the institution and contact us about filing an application under the “prerelease procedure.”
Different Ages For Different Benefits
One of the complexities involved in signing up for Social Security and Medicare is that people become eligible for the two programs at different times. Social Security retirement benefits are available as early as age 62, but most people don’t become eligible to receive Medicare benefits until age 65.
If you happen to want to retire right at age 65 and therefore want to start getting Social Security and Medicare benefits at the same time, then it’s easy to coordinate those benefits. The Social Security Administration handles the sign-up process for both Social Security and Medicare, and you can use a single application to file for both benefits if you’re within three months of your 65th birthday. The SSA’s online retirement application website is the easiest way to start.
However, if you have other plans for when to retire, then you’ll need to think carefully. There are two possible scenarios.
Who Is Eligible For Ssi
Anyone may apply for SSI. The SSI program provides monthly payments to people who:
- Are at least age 65 or blind or disabled.
- Have limited income .
- Have limited resources .
- Are U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens.
- Reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Exception: The children of military parent assigned to permanent duty outside the U.S. and certain students temporarily abroad may receive SSI payments outside the U.S.
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What Documents Do You Need To Apply For Retirement Benefits
We request different documents depending on your circumstances. You can help by being ready to provide the information and documents listed below. You can also use our Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, And Spouses Application to help you gather the information you need to apply.
Documents we may ask for include:
- Your Social Security card or a record of your number.
- Your original birth certificate, a copy certified by the issuing agency, or other proof of your age.We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
- If you were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. We must see the original document, or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept documents if they have expired. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies.
- A copy of your U.S. military service paper if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.
- A copy of your W-2 form and/or self-employment tax return for last year. A photocopy is acceptable.
We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.
How Do I File A Restricted Application For Spousal Benefits Only Online
Larry, In April, 2017, I am going to file an online application for Social Security spousal benefits . I’ve decided to file online to avoid the pitfall of encountering Social Security representatives who do not know the precise rules for restricted applications and the grandfathering provision, as determined by the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015. My wife is 76, and she started receiving Social Security benefits a decade ago. We/I will not be affected by the Government Pension Offset or the Windfall Elimination Provision. I have two questions: For the online application, what specific words do you recommend I use in the Remarks/Comments section of the restricted application? How specific does the date need to be for my SIB start date? That is, should I list July 1, 2017, July 2, 2017, or my exact birthdate ?
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Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B . Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If youre eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage could be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didnt sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “” .
If you dont enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, you have another chance each year to sign up during a general enrollment period from January 1 through March 31. Your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll. Read our publication for more information.
The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
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Use It To Get Benefits Estimates Replacement Cards And Other Vital Services
by Kenneth Terrell and Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated October 6, 2021
En español | Whether you’re already receiving benefits or are years away from retirement, it’s important to keep an eye on your account with the Social Security Administration to ensure you will collect what you have earned. But with local offices largely closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lengthy wait times on the phone help line, tracking and managing your benefits can be difficult if you haven’t set up an online My Social Security account.
This story was produced in collaboration with Senior Planet, which helps people 60 and older learn technology skills to reach their goals, to find community and to thrive in the digital world. Join us for 50-plus free virtual programs each week to learn about a wide range of topics, such as podcasts, telemedicine, saving money, getting in shape and making friends.
Taking a few minutes to create this account will give you more control of your benefits while saving you time. Now that the SSA has mostly stopped sending out paper benefit statements, an online account is the primary way people can keep track of their retirement benefits. As of July 2021, nearly 60 million people have My Social Security accounts, according to SSA data. You can use your account to:
It’s important to note that while you cannot use a My Social Security account directly to apply for benefits, there is a link to start receiving retirement benefits on the SSA website.
Coordinating Your Benefits Can Be A Smart Move
Social Security and Medicare together make up the backbone of financial support for retirees in America. Social Security provides basic financial support, and Medicare takes care of the majority of healthcare costs for its participants. Given that most retirees are eligible for both Social Security and Medicare, one obvious question is whether you can sign up for both programs at the same time. The answer depends on your particular retirement wishes, but if your financial plans work out in a way that allows you to coordinate the two programs, then you’ll often be able to use a single application to participate in both Medicare and Social Security.
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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
Documents You May Need To Provide
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
- Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse and
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
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If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
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How To Get Started
To set up a My Social Security account, you must be at least 18 and have a Social Security number, a valid email address and a U.S. mailing address. If you want to add an extra layer of security to your account, you will also need some form of identification or financial information, such as a drivers license or tax return. Make sure that you have all of this information handy.
Heres how to set up your account.
1. Go to the My Social Security sign-up page and click on Create an Account . On the next screen click on the “Create a new account” button, then on “Sign in with LOGIN.GOV” at the top of the succeeding page. is a secure, single sign-in service members of the public can use to access accounts with participating government agencies, including Social Security.
2. Create your log-in. On the Login.gov sign-in page, click on “Create an account.” On successive screens, enter an email address and language preference, confirm your email and create a password thats at least 12 characters long.
As a general rule, longer passwords are better. Another way to strengthen them is to use a favorite phrase from a book or movie and swap in numbers and symbols for some of the letters. And dont use one youve used for other websites.
If you choose the text/phone option, youll go through that code process as part of this initial sign-in.
Congratulations! You have successfully created your online My Social Security account.
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
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How And When To Apply For Social Security Benefits
- B.S., Texas A& M University
Applying for Social Security benefits is the easy part. You can apply online, by telephone or by walking into your local Social Security office. The hard part is deciding when to apply for your Social Security retirement benefits and rounding up all the documents you’ll need when you do.
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
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How Much Can You Expect To Get
Your Social Security retirement benefit payment is based on how much you made during your working years. The more you earned, the more you’ll get when you retire.
Your Social Security retirement benefit payment is also affected by the age at which you decide to retire. You can retire as early as age 62, but if you retire before your full retirement age, your benefits will be permanently reduced, based on your age. For example, if you retire at age 62, your benefit would be about 25 percent lower than what it would be if you waited until you reach full retirement age.
You also need to remember that monthly premiums for Medicare Part B are usually deducted from monthly Social Security benefits. Retirement is a great time to look into the pros and cons of a private Medicare Advantage plan.
Retirement benefits are based on the recipients lifetime earnings in work in which they paid Social Security taxes. Higher income translates to a bigger benefit, up to a point. The amount to which retirees are entitled is modified by other factors, most crucially the age at which they first claim benefits.
For reference, the estimated average Social Security retirement benefit in 2021 is $1,543 a month. The maximum benefitthe most an individual retiree can getis $3,148 a month for someone who files for Social Security in 2021 at their full retirement age.
Information About Family Members
- Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.
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Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
How To Apply Online For Just Medicare
If you are within three months of turning age 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouses benefits later. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required.
To find out what documents and information you need to apply, go to the .
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