Applying for Social Security retirement benefits is one of the processes that everyone needs to undertake as they enter retirement, but many people put it off due to the paperwork associated with the process.
This guide will help you to learn more about how to file for social security retirement benefits. It will also help you know when it is time to apply and what documentation will be needed. Having access to this information can make the process of filing for social security retirement easy.
When can I apply for Social Security retirement benefits?
Social security retirement benefits (also known as SSA benefits) are available to those as young as 62 years of age. You are entitled to full benefits when you reach your full retirement age. If you wait to take your SSA benefits until you are 70 years of age, your benefit amount will increase. When you start receiving your SSA benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced by a small percentage each month until you get to your full retirement age.
There are pros and cons to applying early or waiting until you are at full retirement age to take your benefits. When you delay taking your SSA retirement benefits, you will be eligible to receive delayed retirement credits that might actually increase your monthly benefit. If you are not able to keep working, however, having access to most of your full social security benefit amount can be a lifesaver in this situation.
Pros for applying early for social security benefits:
· You will have the needed money to cover your bills;
· You can stop worrying that you won’t get to use your benefits later due to health issues;
· You will have access to this income to enjoy life.
Cons of applying early for social security benefits:
· Your benefits will be permanently reduced;
· You will get smaller cost-of-living adjustments over time;
· You will pay a penalty for continuing to work while taking these benefits.
What documents do I need to apply for Social Security?
This is one of the most common questions that people have about applying for their social security benefits. You will need the following to submit your application for social security retirement:
· Your social security card or a record of your social security number.
· Your original birth certificate or a copy of a certificate that has been certified by the issuing agency. If you do not have these items, you can submit other proof of your age as listed here.
· For those who were not born in the US, proof of US citizenship or lawful alien status will be required.
· A copy of your US military service papers will be required if you served before 1968.
· A copy of your W2 forms or self-employment tax returns from the previous year.
How to apply for Social Security retirement?
Knowing how to sign up for social security retirement is one of the biggest hurdles that many people face when they reach retirement age. Thankfully, there is an online application that you can use to apply for your benefits which is available at SSA.gov.
If you do not feel comfortable applying for your social security retirement benefits online, you can use the social security retirement phone number. The agent that you speak to will help you to set up an appointment to apply for your benefits. They will also apprise you of the documentation that you need to have prepared to sign up for social security retirement.
Applying for Social Security retirement online
Applying for social security retirement online is really easy. Be ready for this process to take about half an hour or an hour at most. You will need to provide specific information related to your personal details, your citizenship status, and your work history. You will also need to be able to provide details about your service in the military or your work in the railroad industry.
Your SSA retirement application will also require that you submit information about workers’ compensation claims that might be open in your name and earnings that you receive from other sources like investments and pensions.
Social Security retirement application form
The social security retirement application form begins by asking for your name, gender, DOB, and social security number. You will then need to provide your citizenship status and indicate if you have ever filed for SSA benefits in the past or if you have ever used another social security number.
The next part of the form will ask about any military service that you have completed or whether you have worked in the railroad industry. You will also need to be able to indicate if you have earned social security credits under any other country’s social security system.
Information about annuities and pensions will need to be provided, and information about any spouses that you have had or currently have. Children who are unmarried under the age of 18 or those disabled before the age of 22 will need to be included in your application as well.
The rest of the form will ask about employment details and whether or not you have applied for benefits related to black lung or have had temporary or permanent compensation awarded to you for a workers’ compensation claim. Depending upon your work history, you might need to fill in details about the kind of earnings that you received during specific periods of time.
Applying for Social Security retirement benefits doesn’t need to be stressful
If you have been worried about applying for your social security retirement benefits, you can use this guide to help you to take care of this essential process related to your retirement. You worked hard your whole life to earn these benefits, and you are entitled to the monthly social security payments that you earned when you were younger. Make sure that you consider the pros and cons of applying before you reach your full retirement age, and make sure that you have all the necessary documentation on hand when you start the application process.
Being prepared and informed can make the social security application process simple and stress-free!