In order to receive social security benefits, you must meet all requirements for eligibility. This article will provide you with a short summary of important items you should know when you apply for your own Social Security benefits and Medicare. You may need additional documentation if you are seeking to apply for benefits for your child, spouse or divorced spouse.
Age to Apply for Social Security BenefitsSocial Security benefits applications should be sent no more than four months prior to the date which you anticipate receiving benefits. The minimum age to receive benefits is 61 years and nine months old. If you have reached 62 years of age, you might be able to begin receiving your Social Security benefits in the same month which you apply. You should know in advance what date you’d like your Social Security benefits to begin. A helpful tip – if you are 64 years old and not retiring and not receiving Social Security benefits, you should sign up for Medicare benefits within the four month period prior to your 65th birthday.
Itemized List for Your Social Security Benefits ApplicationIn order to ensure that you can successfully meet all documentation requirements for your Social Security application, you should be prepared to have all of the following information available at your disposal. Not all of these items may be required.
- Your name, gender, social security number and marital status;
- Birth certificate or sufficient related information;
- You must provide your name given at birth and will need documentation of any name changes;
- You must provide any other Social Security numbers you may have been issued or used;
- If you are married, your spouse’s name, birth date and Social Security number (if any);
- The date and place of each time you were married and information regarding separation or divorce, if applicable;
- If you have children, the names of any unmarried children under 19 and any who may be disabled that are 21 and younger;
- Citizenship status including any naturalization documentation;
- If a prior member of the U.S. military, appropriate discharge documents;
- Tax information such as W-2 forms and any self-employment tax returns for the prior year;
- All information regarding whether you or anyone else has filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) for you. If the answer to this question is yes, you'll need to supply information such as the Social Security number of the person who applied for you;
- Whether you were in the military prior to 1968, will your dates of service and whether you have received or have been eligible military or other federal benefits;
- Whether you or your husband or wife have ever worked for the railroad system;
- Whether you have earned credits for Social Security in another country;
- Whether you received or expect to receive a pension or annuity benefit based upon employment with the federal or state government.
- Whether you had earned something for each year since 1978;
- Current employment status and, if self-employed, the amount of money you earned last year, this year and are expected to earn next year. Social Security may request permission to contact a current or prior employer;
- Your criminal history, such as whether you have been convicted of a felony and have any outstanding arrest warrants for felony crimes or violations of parole or probation conditions;
Help with a Social Security Benefits Application or AppealIf you have experienced difficulty with a Social Security benefits application or have been denied benefits, you may wish to retain an experienced Social Security attorney. Frequently there is no up-front cost and the lawyer works on a contingency basis - the lawyer is paid only if and after you are found disabled by the Social Security Administration and entitled to receive retroactive benefits. In such instances, the lawyer’s fees must be approved by the Social Security Administration.
- Health, Medical & Social:
- Social Security Eligibility
SSDI Claims Social Security Benefits Claim Requirements
By Michael M. Wechsler |
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!