Most people lead busy lives, so it’s important to know how much you can do by accessing Social Security online services. Social Security online services can save you time and effort while keeping you up-to-date with information about your account.
It’s possible to request a simple Social Security card replacement, apply for benefits, access your current Social Security statement, appeal a decision rendered concerning a Social Security decision, learn if you qualify for Social Security benefits, estimate future benefits, and more.
Online Social Security Card Replacement Requests
If you’ve signed up for Social Security My Account, you may make an online request for a replacement card in some cases. You must be a United States citizen and at least 18 years old with a domestic mail address (including APO, FPO and DPO addresses). You can’t request a name change or make any other changes to your card.
If you’re married or divorced and want to change your name on the Social Security card, contact your local Social Security office to schedule a meeting. You must have a state-issued ID card or driver license from Wisconsin (driver license), District of Columbia (driver license), Iowa, Washington, Kentucky, New Mexico, or Nebraska. If you live in another state, contact your local Social Security office to arrange a meeting.
Apply to Receive Social Security Benefits Online
It’s also possible to apply online through the Social Security My Account page for retirement and/or Medicare benefits. Review the requirements to submit an application for retirement and/or Medicare by submitting an electronic application. Social Security says that most people need no more than 10 minutes to complete and submit the form. SSA processes the application and contacts you if additional information is needed. You then receive information about your benefits and Medicare by mail.
You may also apply for Medicare benefits through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) portal but the Social Security My Account page simplifies the process. You can elect to apply for Medicare only. Click Medicare only if you don’t want to access Social Security monthly benefits at this time. Before making the decision, review lifetime benefits on your SSA record:
You can elect to receive Social Security monthly benefits at any time after you reach full Social Security retirement age. If you apply for benefits before you reach full retirement for your birth year, your benefits will be reduced. Keep in mind that accessing Social Security benefits earlier occurs because you’re asking Social Security to pay benefits to you for a potentially longer period.
If you elect to receive retirement benefits after you’ve reached Social Security full retirement age for your birth year, you can accumulate Delayed Retirement Credits. (Remember, though, even if you delay Social Security monthly benefits, sign up for Medicare only by age 65.)
Before you complete the application(s), have information you need on hand, including your birth date and birth place; Medicaid number, if applicable, and start/end dates; current health insurance information; marriage and/or divorce information; names/dates of disabled children prior to age 22, or unmarried children who are under age 18, or who are age 18-19 and still full-time secondary school students; U.S. military service information; employment information for the current year/prior two years; self-employment information; and bank information for direct deposit of your benefits (account type, number, including bank routing information).
Social Security may contact you if more information is needed. You may check the status of your application through the Social Security My Account page after you’ve submitted it.
Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits Online
If you’re age 18 or older and aren’t receiving current Social Security benefits from your own SSA employment record and you can’t work because of illness or a medical condition that your physician projects will last at least 12 months or terminate in death, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security My Account page if you haven’t been denied a request for disability benefits over the previous 60 days. If you were denied benefits, you may initiate an appeal through the Social Security My Account Page to request a review of Social Security’s medical determination.
Before beginning your application, use the Social Security Administration checklist for Online Adult Disability Application by clicking on Adult Disability Application. You will need to disclose information about your birth and citizenship; marriage/divorce; names/birthdates of children (those who were disabled prior to age 22 or less than 18 years old and unmarried or still full-time secondary students at age 18 and 19); U.S. military service; employer details; self-employment details; and bank account number and routing information to complete direct deposit of benefits if approved.
You must list your medical conditions and provide information about your doctors and the places at which you receive care, such as hospitals or clinics. You will be asked to provide the name, address, phone number, dates of exams/treatments, and your patient ID number at a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. You will also be asked to provide names and dates of medical tests you’ve had and the medicines, including prescription and non-prescription, you take now.
Plan to provide information about your job history for the previous 15 years, up to five positions, and the dates you held the job(s). You will also be asked to provide the duties you performed in the jobs you held. Social Security also wants to know about your education and training, including your highest level of education and the dates of your education. Have this information on hand before you access the application.
Social Security says that it can take up to two hours to complete the application once you’ve assembled the information. You can begin the application and return to a saved application at any time. Although many law firms offer assistance to persons who are applying for Social Security benefits, there’s a high cost to be paid if you’re approved for benefits. A law firm can charge you up to USD 6,000 for help in completing the application. Social Security can offer assistance in completing the application for disability benefits at no cost to you.
After you submit the online application, Social Security will contact you. You may receive a phone call from your local Social Security office with a request for documentation. In many cases, you can fax or mail these documents to Social Security to save time. Social Security may ask for your birth certificate/proof of birth; U.S. citizenship or legal alien status if you weren’t born here; U.S. military discharge (before 1968); W-2 or self-employment forms submitted to IRS for the previous year; medical records, including doctor reports and recent tests; and information about any workers’ comp or temporary benefits payments you received. If Social Security requests a copy of your birth certificate, you must submit an original. SSA will return the document to you.
Alternatively, you may provide any requested documentation to a local Social Security office. If you’re asked to provide many documents, making an appointment can save you time.
Beginning your Social Security disability claim online can save you time. Because you’ll be asked to provide lots of information, it’s possible to save your application and return to it at any time. You can complete the process from any computer, even from a computer that’s located outside of the United States.
It’s also possible to submit a Social Security disability claim by phone. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST on weekdays. Social Security offers a TTY line for deaf/HH individuals at 1-800-325-0778.
Social Security online services save time. You can use Social Security online services to initiate or request many services. Although complex requests usually require phone, mail, and/or in-person contact, it’s possible to ease the time burden with the Social Security My Account portal.