Applying For Retirement Benefits

Important information on how to help your loved one file for Social Security retirement benefits.

Your loved one will be contacted by the Social Security Administration three months before his or her 65th birthday. Your loved one can also apply for modified benefits at age 62 by contacting the Administration. If possible, encourage your loved one to apply for Social Security retirement at least three months before he or she wants benefits to begin.

To apply, your loved one will need original copies of:

  • His or her Social Security Number
  • His or her birth certificate
  • His or her W-2 form or self-employment tax return for the previous year
  • His or her military discharge papers if applicable
  • His or her spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security Number if he or she is applying for benefits
  • His or her children’s birth certificate and Social Security numbers for children’s benefits
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if your loved one, his or her spouse, or children were not born in the U.S.
  • The bank name and account where your loved one would like his or her check direct deposited

You can request application materials by contacting the Social Security Administration’s local office. To obtain information about the office in your loved one’s area, call the SSA’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.

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