You’ve decided to file for your Social Security retirement benefits in January. Now you’re wondering when you should file your retirement application. The answer is now.
Being ready to file for Social Security retirement should include estimating benefit amounts using the Retirement Planner tools in the SSA Retirement Benefits section at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire/ , researching questions, creating a personal my Social Security account (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/) and using it to review their earnings record on the Statement for accuracy.
Many Social Security retirement (and other) applications are completed online. People can file for Medicare online, even if not retiring yet. SSA representatives review online applications and contact applicants if needed. To file online, visit this link: http://: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib. The “Apply for Retirement Benefits” page has helpful information, including a short video introduction. Compete the entire application at one time or save it to complete later as preferred. The status of your completed application can be checked online at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/IAPS/applicationStatus .
Other options are filing by telephone or in-person at a local office. An appointment is recommended. Make one by calling the Social Security national toll-free number, 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778), from 7:00am – 7:00pm local time, Monday – Friday, standard business days.
Complete the retirement application about 3 months before you want your Social Security benefits to start. Before you complete your application, review the checklist in the “Apply for Retirement Benefits” section (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/hlp/isba/10/isba-checklist.pdf). Remember that Social Security benefits for a month are received in the following month. For example, Social Security will pay you for January 2016 in February 2016.
Specific questions on the retirement application depend on the situation. For example, married people should expect to provide the name of their spouse and date of marriage. Details about previous marriages are required and there are questions about military service dates and recent employment. To establish direct deposit of benefits to financial institutions, have available the bank routing number and personal account number. These questions are asked is to help you receive all benefits you are due.
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