Things To Consider Before You Apply For Retirement Benefits: What You Need To Know

Things To Consider Before You Apply For Retirement Benefits: What You Need To Know

Are you thinking about retiring and applying for Social Security retirement benefits in the future? Our online tools can make your planning easier. Visit to access your personal my Social Security account to get an instant and personalized estimate of your retirement benefits based on your earnings record.

It is important that your earnings record is accurate because we compute or base your benefit amount after considering most of your wages or self-employment income reported to us. If you find an error, you will want to contact us to correct your record. Read our publication, How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record, at, to learn how.

You can also get benefit estimates based on different retirement ages and choose the best one for you. Don’t have a personal my Social Security account? You can create one today at

When you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, you can complete your application online in as little as 15 minutes at We will contact you if we need any more information. You can check the status of your application with your personal my Social Security account.

You can apply online for your Social Security retirement benefits, and for benefits as a spouse, if you meet all the following criteria:

· You must be at least age 62 for the entire month to be eligible to receive benefits.

· You are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.

· You have not already applied for retirement benefits.

· You want your benefits to start no later than three months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than four months in advance.) Find more information about our online services at

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Security offices could not receive visitors except for previously arranged appointments on special limited critical situations. However, we continue providing our services by phone and internet. If you have questions on Social Security benefits and services, please access

You could also access our automated services at 1-800-772-1213 or call your local Social Security office Monday to Friday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. To locate the telephone number of your local field office, please input your residential zip code at