Social Security benefits can be accessed as early as 62 years of age, however there will be a reduction in your total benefits if you apply earlier than the general enrollment time. Waiting until your retirement age is the best way to access the full number of benefits you are qualified to receive.
Generally, the age of full retirement is 66 or 67 years of age depending on the year you were born. Accessing your benefits before your retirement age can result in the SSA reducing your benefits by up to 30 percent total. Additionally, you may receive expanded monthly benefits if you apply for benefits after you reach 70 years of age.
If you are interested in submitting an SSI application, you can do so online, by phone, or at your local Social Security office.
Online applications can be submitted on the SSA’s website after you create a my Social Security account. The SSA website accepts digital applications for retirement benefits. While applying online, you may skip questions that you cannot answer at the time and return to them later.
Here are a few tips that can help you during your SSI application:
· Save your application and return to it later if there is any information that you do not have available. To return to it, press the button that says “Return to a Saved Application”
· You are not allowed to use special characters on the application including characters, periods, commas, and more. This includes the address section, so you would write SW instead of S.W. for southwest.
· Applications can also be submitted over the phone by calling your local SSI office. Office hours are usually Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you require assistance, you can request the help of a representative over the phone.
· You also have the option to visit your nearest Social Security office to submit an SSI application in person. This method is beneficial because you can ask a representative to assist you in filling out the necessary forms and documents.
Once you are a beneficiary of SSI or SSDI, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare benefits as soon as you become eligible. However, if you will likely be required to choose the type of Medicare plans you need. SSI and SSDI covers the cost of Medicare Part A and B, but you can also choose to get expanded coverage with Medicare Part C or D.