Celebrate Your Independence with Social Security

Social Security Column

By Erin Thompson
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Toledo, OH

Every July, we take pride in celebrating our nation’s independence.  For nearly 90 years, our programs have helped provide financial independence to millions of hardworking people.  We have useful online tools like the Social Security Statement (Statement) and our benefits estimator tool that help people not yet receiving benefits.  The Statement shows the benefits that you and your family may be entitled to with personalized fact sheets tailored to your age and earnings situation.  The benefits estimator tool allows you to get estimates based on different ages you want to begin receiving benefits.  These tools can help you plan the financial independence you deserve in retirement.

Don’t receive benefits?  You can get the most out of your online experience if you have a personal my Social Security account.    You can:

  • Get your Statement instantly.
  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in nearly every state and the District of Columbia).
  • Find out if you qualify for benefits.
  • Appeal a decision we made on your claim.

Already receiving benefits?  If so, you can use your personal my Social Security account to:

  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in nearly every state and the District of Columbia).
  • Get an instant benefit verification letter for Social Security, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Start or change your direct deposit. (Social Security beneficiaries only)
  • Check your information and benefit amount.
  • Change your address. (Social Security beneficiaries only)
  • Request a replacement Medicare card.
  • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S instantly for tax season.
  • Report your wages if you work and receive disability benefits or SSI.

You can create your personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Our blog at blog.ssa.gov features messages and information direct from our Acting Commissioner and other experts.  You can subscribe and get an email each time we post a new blog so you can stay informed.  From the blog, you can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

With so many services and helpful information available online, we are here for you when it’s convenient for you.  Be sure to tell friends and family about all they can do with us from any device at www.ssa.gov.


Apply for Social Security Benefits Online

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 ssa.gov/retireonline.
  • Disability Benefits – You can use our online application, available at ssa.gov/disabilityonline, to apply for disability benefits if you:
    • Are age 18 or older;
    • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
    • Are unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; and
    • 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.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI also makes payments to people who are age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.  If you plan to apply for SSI, you can tell us you want to apply and we will make an appointment to help you complete the application.  Or you can complete a large part of your application online at ssa.gov/benefits/ssi.
  • Medicare – Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, some people younger than 65 who have disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. If you are not already receiving Social Security benefits, and are not working, you should apply for Medicare three months before turning age 65 at ssa.gov/medicare.
  • Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs – Some people with limited resources and income may be able to get Extra Help paying their monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. People who need assistance with the cost of medications can apply for Extra Help at ssa.gov/i1020.

Please share these helpful resources with your friends and family.