Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for Social Security retirement benefits?
It is recommended that you apply for retirement benefits three months before you want your payments to start. Applying online at https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib. One or more of the following documents may be needed in order to apply online. The end of the online application will provide instructions on where to submit them. The documents we may ask for are: Original birth certificate or other proof of birth [more info] (You may also submit a copy of your birth certificate certified by the issuing agency); Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States [more info]; Copy of your U.S. military service paper(s) (e.g., DD-214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) if you had military service before 1968; [more info]; and Copy of your W-2 form(s) [more info] and/or self-employment tax return [more info] for last year.