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What is the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool?

The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) helps you find out if you could get benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.

BEST is NOT an application for benefits and:

  • does not know, or ask for, your name or Social Security number.
  • does not access your personal Social Security records.
  • will not give you an estimate of benefit amounts.

BEST will NOT screen for help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. If you have Medicare, you might be eligible for this program.

Frequently Asked Questions
What benefits will BEST screen for?
BEST will screen for the following benefits:

BEST will NOT screen for help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. If you have Medicare, you might be eligible for this program.

How much time will it take to answer all the questions?
Please allow approximately 5 to 10 minutes to answer all questions.
What types of questions will BEST ask?
BEST will ask for:
  • your (and your spouse's) date of birth, date of marriage(s) and earnings information.
  • information about your personal finances to determine if you could be eligible for SSI or qualify for help with your Medicare premium.
Do I have to answer all of the questions?
Yes, we need you to answer all of the questions. Based on your answers, BEST will tell you all the programs you could qualify for.
What if I already get benefits from the Social Security Administration?
If you answer that you already get any of the benefits listed above, BEST will not screen for those same benefits again; however, it will screen for the other benefits.
Who will see the answers I give?
No one else will see the answers you give. When you leave BEST, all of your answers will be erased. Social Security will not keep any record of your answers. In fact, you may want to print a copy of each page for your own records as you go through the questions.
What if I don't understand a question?
If you do not understand a question, click the question mark icon to view help text for that question.
What if I am helping someone else?
If you're answering these questions on behalf of someone else (including a child), the term "you" applies to that person. Answer the questions as they apply to the person you are helping.
What happens when I finish answering the questions?
After you complete the questions and see the results, if you decide that you would like to apply for any of the benefits, you must contact Social Security to file an application.
What if I use assistive technology to access BEST?
BEST is designed to allow users to access all the information on the site, including the eligibility screening questionnaire, via the keyboard. On each page, your keyboard's Tab button will advance you between questions. At the end of the questionnaire, you will have access to your results.

For information about alternative views and navigation, visit General Information for Internet Applications.