How to Sign Up for Social Security Online

by Amy Dombrower ; Updated July 27, 2017
U.S. citizens that are eligible for Social Security can apply online.

Items you will need

  • Internet browser
  • Personal information

Social Security is the U.S. federal benefit program aimed to give retired-age citizens monthly payments The amount you get depends on your work history and the age at which you retire. To apply for Social Security online and find all the necessary information, visit the federal government’s Social Security Online website (see Resources). You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits, Medicare health insurance and disability benefits at this site.

Step 1

Log on to Social Security Online (see Resources).

Step 2

Click the button labeled "Applying Online for Retirement Benefits.”

Step 3

Select “Estimate My Benefit.” This is recommended to help you answer some of the application questions before beginning the online process.

Step 4

Click “I Am Applying for Myself” under the “To Start the Application” box. If you are helping someone who is applying for benefits, choose one of the other options. Read the Privacy Act Statement” and click the check box. Click “Apply for Benefits.”

Step 5

Follow the prompts to fill out the online application. You will need to know information such as your bank’s routing number, your income and employer information. Make sure all the information is truthful and correct.

Step 6

Sign the application by clicking “Sign Now.” The person applying for benefits must be the one to sign the application.

Step 7

Submit pertinent documents to a Social Security office. The application may require you to submit your birth certificate, citizenship papers. and copies of last year’s W-2 and self-employment tax returns. The list of documents required will display at the end of the online application, as well as where you can submit them.

Tips

  • To apply for retirement or spouse benefits, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months old. You must want to start your benefits within four months. If you’re approaching age 65, your application will include benefits with Medicare.

    Any questions you may have about the application can most likely be answered on the Social Security website. Click the “Questions” tab at the top of the screen. You also can call Social Security. Click the “Contact Us” tab and select “By Phone” for information.

About the Author

Amy Dombrower is a journalist and freelance writer living in Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry for three years and enjoys writing about technology, health, paper crafts and life improvement. Some of her passions are graphic design, movies, music and fitness. Dombrower earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Photo Credits

  • elderly lady image by pixelcarpenter from Fotolia.com
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