You Can Apply For Social Security Benefits Online 4 Months Before You Are Eligible

You Can Apply For Social Security Benefits Online 4 Months Before You Are Eligible

Did you know, you can do much of your business online with Social Security? This means no need to call or visit a local Social Security office. You can take your time completing our online applications and even save your progress to return to later.

You can apply online for:

· Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits – You can apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start. You must be at least age 62 for the entire month to be eligible to receive benefits. If you were born on the first or second day of the month, you meet this requirement in the month of your 62nd birthday. If you were born on any other day of the month, you do not meet this requirement until the following month. When you’re ready, apply at www.ssa.gov/retireonline.

· Disability Benefits – You can use our online application, available at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline, to apply for disability benefits if you:

o Are age 18 or older;

o Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;

o Are unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; and

o Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied, our online appeal application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made. Please visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.

· Medicare – Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older, persons younger than 65 who are receiving our disability, disabled widow(er), surviving disabled divorced spouse or disabled adult child benefits, and people with end-stage renal disease. If you are not already receiving any Social Security benefits because do not qualify or do not wish to file for those at this time, you should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65 at www.ssa.gov/medicare. IMPORTANT: All individuals must contact us in advance to inquire on our enrollment periods for Medicare to avoid any possible future premium surcharges for late filing.

Please share these helpful resources with your friends and family. For more information on Social Security, please access www.socialsecurity.gov, call 1-800-772-1213 o visit your local field office -which address is available at www.ssa.gov/locator/

Expert Column By Víctor Rodríguez
Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Administration
For the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico