Whether you need to file for retirement benefits or disability benefits, the easiest and fastest way to do it is online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
You can file for Social Security as early as age 62 at a reduced rate or you can delay it beyond your full retirement age to receive permanent increases to your monthly amount called delayed retirement credits. Whenever you decide you are ready, you can file for your benefits online. Visit this link: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib. The process will take about 15 minutes. If your spouse is filing for spousal benefits, she can file online also. Here is a list of the information that you will need to file for benefits: https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/isba/10/isba-checklist.pdf. It can help you gather together your information before you begin. There is also a video to the right of the application that contains tips and pointers for filing online and navigating the application.
Disability is often a stressful occurrence. Filing for disability benefits may seem like a huge task on your “To Do” list. Doing it online can ease some of the stress. Use this link to the disability section of our website (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/) to learn about how to qualify and apply for disability benefits. There are links in the right hand column for the Adult Disability Checklist and the Disability Starter Kit which help you learn what kind of information we ask for and give you a way to organize the info, so you will have it handy when you start your online application. Read our online brochure: Filing Online for Disability https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10550.pdf to find out tips to make the process go more smoothly.
Recently, Social Security added Supplemental Security Income disability to the online applications with certain limitations. You are eligible to file online for SSI if you:
- Are between the ages of 18 and 65;
- Have never been married;
- Aren’t blind;
- Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the fifty states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
- Haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past; and
- Are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance at the same time as your SSI claim.
Here is a link to the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool which can help you figure out which benefits you may be eligible for: https://ssabest.benefits.gov/.
You can enter and re-enter the disability claim as many times as you need to in order to finish it. That means that if you need an additional piece of information, you can log out, retrieve the info, and then re-enter the application to enter it. What could be easier?
Knowing that you can save both time and travel by filing for retirement, spouse’s or disability benefits online is news you can use.