Ways to Apply

You can complete an application for Retirement, Spouse's, Medicare or Disability Benefits online.

If you do not wish to use the online application, or the application for the benefit you want is not available online, you can:

  • Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778); or
  • Visit your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply.

If you live outside the U.S. you can contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate.

Types of Benefits You Can Apply For

Retirement or Spouse's

You can apply online for Retirement or spouse's benefits or continue an application you already started.

You must be at least 61 years and 9 months old and want your benefits to start no more than four months in the future.

If you qualify for both retirement and spouse’s benefits, please read:

If you are eligible for a spouse's benefit and your own retirement benefit

Note: If you are almost 65, your application for benefits will include Medicare.

Information You May Need to Apply:


Medicare

You can apply online for Medicare or continue an application you already started.

If you are almost 65 but you don't want your retirement benefits to start, you can just apply online for Medicare using the "Retirement/Medicare Benefits" application.

Information You May Need to Apply:


Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

You can apply online for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs.


Disability

You can apply online for disability benefits or continue an application you already started.

Information You May Need to Apply:


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you want to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please read:

How Do I Apply For SSI?


Appeal a Disability Decision

If your application for disability benefits was denied recently for medical reasons, you can request an appeal online or continue working on an appeal you already started.


Survivors

You cannot report a death or apply for survivors' benefits online.

If you need to report a death or apply for survivors' benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office.

Note: In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security. If you want them to do that, you will need to give the deceased’s Social Security Number to the funeral director so he or she can make the report.

If you are getting benefits on your spouse's or parent's record:

  • We'll automatically change any monthly benefits to survivor benefits after the death is reported to us.
  • We may be able to pay the Special Lump Sum Death Benefit automatically.

If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record, you will need to apply for the survivor benefits. We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.

If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivor benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.

Information You May Need to Apply:


Children's Benefits

You cannot apply online for benefits for a child. Please read:

Information You Need to Apply for Child's Benefits


Check the Status of Your Application

After you apply, you can check the status of your application online. You will need your Social Security number and confirmation that you received when you applied to use this service.