The application process for applying for Social Security benefits is designed to be as easy as it can be. There are several options available, and each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Apply for Social Security Online
You can easily apply for Social Security benefits on the Internet by going to www.ssa.gov. Once there, you will find all you need to know in order to apply for benefits. The online application is practically identical to the series of questionnaires and other forms you would normally complete if you were applying in person. As a result, be sure to have all of your records and information ready for the online application, as it will both speed up your application time and your chances of approval without a hearing.
Applying for Social Security Benefits by Telephone
Applying for benefits by phone is very easy. First, you may start by calling 1-800-772-1213. You will speak to an administration employee who will gather your very basic information, and set an appointment time for you to do an interview by telephone at a later time and date. Your telephone interview will be conducted by a Claims Representative (CR) and will typically last between half an hour and one hour and will encompass all areas that are needed to apply for benefits. Again, it will be most important to have all of your relevant documentation, information and medical records handy in order to be as thorough as possible.
In-Person Interview at The Social Security Office
Some claimants find that the easiest way to apply is by simply making an appointment to apply for Social Security Benefits in person at their local SSA field office. To apply in person, you must first call the Social Security Administration and set an appointment date. Simply call 1-800-772-1213 to get started. After some preliminary questions, you will make an appointment to come to the field office in person and meet with a Claims Representative to open your file and begin your claim. You will receive all the materials and information necessary to successfuly open your case at that time.
Information, Documents and Medical Records
Whether you apply for your Social Security benefits on the phone, in person or on the Internet, you will need to have the following information available:
- Your personal identifying information such as your name, your social security number and birth information.
- Whether you have previously filed for Social Security benefits
- Whether you have previously filed for Medicare
- Dates of active military service, if any
- Whether you are eligible to receive any monthly benefit from any federal U.S. agency or foreign country
- Marriage information, including dates, names and places of marriage.
- Information regarding your children (dates of birth, social security numbers (if known)
- Whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation or disability benefits or other disability benefits
- Employment information, including self-employment and earnings information for the past two years.
- Medical information, including all illnesses or injuries because of which you are unable to work.
- Medical records and provider information, including doctors, hospitals and clinics by which you have been treated
- Information regarding your medications, treatments, therapies and lab test results