A: Now is a good time.
Use the SSA Retirement Planner tools to be sure of your plans and then use the online retirement application. A SSA representative will review the application and might call you. If you want to speak to a SSA representative when applying, either by telephone or in-person, call the SSA national number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), for an appointment.
When completing your application, whether online or not, have the following information available:
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number (SSN).
- The name, SSN and date of birth or age of your current spouse plus know your date and place of marriage.
- For a previous marriage that ended in death or a marriage that lasted at least ten years before ending in divorce, have the same information available.
- If you have a child under age 19, or a child severely disabled before he or she reached age 22, know their date of birth and SSN.
- The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service you had before 1968.
- Your bank or other financial institution’s Routing Transit Number and the account number for electronic deposit of benefits
- The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year.
- Your actual earnings amount from gross wages or net self-employment for last year and estimated amounts for this year and next year. Last year’s W-2 form might be requested if needed to update your work record.
- It is suggested that you create a my Social Security account to view your earnings history on your SSA Statement for accuracy and estimate benefits.
- You might be asked to provide your birth certificate or proof of citizenship or lawful alien status if not born in the United States. If so, provide the document certified by the issuing agency, such as state vital statistics, not a photocopy that you made. Documents are returned to you.
Social Security benefits for a month are paid in the following month. Your retirement benefit for January is payable in February with the actual payment date based on your birthdate.