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How to apply for benefits

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Frequently Asked Questions
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First, find out if you are eligible for Social Security benefits

To help identify all the different Social Security programs for which you may be eligible, use our Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST).


You can apply


When you apply

Please be ready to supply the information we need to approve your application for these benefits:

We may ask you to provide certain documents to show that you are eligible and help us decide how much your benefits should be. If you do not have a birth certificate, you may request one from the state where you were born. For details on where to write in your state, check Where to Write for Vital Records.

Also, bring along your bank information so you can sign up for Direct Deposit.  

Thank you for using the Social Security Retirement Planner.
We hope it was useful to you.

Visit our:

  • Other Resources page for links to other websites with useful retirement planning information.

  • Home Page for more information on Social Security programs.

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Last reviewed or modified Monday Sep 15, 2008
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