How to Apply for Social Security Benefits

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This is a quick overview of what is needed to apply for Social Security Benefits, the age requirements, and how you can apply. There are millions of Baby Boomers out there who are eligible now or will become eligible in the years to come. I hope this article serves as a stepping stone to the SSA website.

For full retirement the following SSA rules apply. Notice for certain years you have to be 65 plus so many months old or 66 plus so many months old to be eligible for full retirement.

FULL RETIREMENT GUIDE LINES

Year of birth:

1937 or earlier 65

1938 – 65 and 2 months

1939 -65 and 4 months

1940 – 65 and 6 months

1941 – 65 and 8 months

1942 -65 and 10 months

1943-1954 – 66

1955 – 66 and 2 months

1956 – 6 6 and 4 months

1957 – 66 and 6 months

1958 – 66 and 8 months

1959 – 66 and 10 months

1960 and later 67.

You can take an earlier retirement at age 62, however you’re Social Security Benefits will be reduced by 25% of your full retirement amount. Note you still have to wait until 65 to be eligible for Medicare.

Your benefit will increase automatically by a certain percentage from the time you reach your full retirement age until you start receiving your benefits or until you reach age 70. The percentage varies depending on your year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1943 or later, Social Security will add 8 percent per year to your benefit for each year that you delay signing up for Social Security beyond your full retirement age.

You can apply for Social Security Benefits on line by going to: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/ISBA/main.html

You can apply for Social Security Benefits over the phone by calling: 1-800-772-1213. A representative will make a telephone appointment for you so your Social Security Benefit claim can be taken over the phone.

You may also visit any Social Security office and make your claim in person. Go here: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp to find the location nearest your home.

You will need the following information when you apply for your Social Security benefits: your social security number, your birth certificate, or proof of U.S. citizenship, your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year, your military discharge papers if you had military service.

For Direct Deposit payments you will need your banks name, account number and bank routing number. This information is on the bottom of your checks and your deposit slips.

To print a PDF publication on Retirement Benefits go to: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10035.pdf

To visit the SSA Retirement main web page go to: http://www.ssa.gov/retirement.html

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