Applying for and obtaining Social Security benefits can be confusing — but these five can be easily claimed online. Before you register for or use any of the online tools for SSA benefits, you’ll need to register for a “my Social Security” account online. The process is fairly straightforward, you’ll simply need to provide some basic identification.
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Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits
You need to be at least 61 years old and 9 months in order to claim these benefits. Another added requirement — you also need to want your benefits to start in no more than four months. Applying for retirement benefits is essentially changing your financial status with the IRS and the SSA, which can have monetary ramifications if you change your mind or make changes outside of the allowable timeframes. Make sure to use the online tools to properly align your benefits with your goals. The online application for retirement and spousal benefits can be found here.
You can easily apply for disability benefits online if you are:
- 18 or older
- not currently receiving benefits on your own social security record
- unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is federal income that is funded by taxpayer dollars and helps people who have little or no income and who are age 65 or older, blind, or have disabilities. You can be under 65 for the benefit, but need to meet certain disability requirements. To see if you are eligible to apply and meet all requirements, click here.
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Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is mainly used by people aged 65 or older and used in retirement as health insurance. Certain people younger than 65 who have disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease can also be eligible for Medicare. If you are almost aged 65, you should apply for Medicare benefits three months before turning age 65 the SSA advises. Medicare is the basic insurance policy for seniors provided by the government, and there are a number of supplemental policies and add-ons you can pay for depending on your situation. Click here for the benefits page.
Help With Prescription Drug Costs
Those who simply need some extra assistance with the cost of their prescription drugs and daily medications can apply for it through the SSA benefit website here. You must be enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug program to receive this benefit.
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