Each year, millions of Americans receive Social Security benefits. However, the process of filing for and receiving Social Security benefits is tough to navigate without the help of a skilled representative. Fortunately, the team at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can explain the multiple ways you can file for Social Security benefits and start receiving the help you need.
How Do I Apply for Social Security Benefits?
There are a few ways you can file for Social Security benefits. If you are looking to apply for retirement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, disability, or spousal benefits, you can apply:
- Online through the Social Security Administration (SSA) website,
- By calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, or
- In-person at your local Social Security office.
If you are seeking to apply for survivor’s or child’s benefits, you cannot apply online, but you can call the SSA or visit your nearest Social Security office.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, there are limited in-person appointments. However, under certain circumstances and needs, you may be eligible for an in-person appointment.
When Should I Apply for Benefits?
When you should apply for benefits depends on what type of benefits you are filing for and your eligibility. If you are applying for retirement or spouse’s benefits, it is recommended that you submit your application about four months prior to when you would like to receive benefits. In terms of eligibility, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months old. If you are filing for disability or survivor’s benefits, you can apply as soon as you are eligible.
When Will I Start Receiving Benefits?
The time frame between when you submit your application and when you are approved varies depending on the accuracy of your information and number of applications the SSA is processing. Typically, it can take up to six weeks to process your application and for you to learn if you have been approved by the SSA. It may take longer if the SSA needs more information from you or if they are processing a large number of applications. Throughout the process, you are able to check the status of your application online.
If you are approved, a decision letter will be sent to you and you will start receiving benefits. The SSA sends Social Security payments electronically, either through a direct deposit to your account, by prepaid debit card, or by an electronic transfer account.
Contact a Representative for Questions about Filing for and Receiving Social Security Benefits
Social Security benefits support millions of Americans, and each year that number grows. If you or a loved one is looking to apply for Social Security benefits, contact our knowledgeable team to discuss the application process and learn how you can start receiving benefits.