At last the Social Security Administration is allowing us to apply for Social Security retirement benefits online. Until now, you had to visit a local Social Security office or attempt to apply by telephone. Now, there is a link directly from the Social Security home page. This is a fantastic development for web-savvy baby boomers who are expected to be applying for Social Security retirement benefits at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next twenty years.
I have not completed an online application because, of course, you need to be at least 62 to receive retirement benefits. You can begin the online application process at age 61 years and 9 months. Your date of birth, name, and Social Security number are on the first Applicant Information screen. I could not get past that screen.
You will note that on the Benefit Application start page there is an “Estimate My Benefit” button. This is to access the online Social Security Benefit Estimator tool. I recommend that everyone use that tool first and get a clear look at the benefit differences between retiring at age 62, at full retirement age, and waiting until age 70.
This is what the Social Security benefit estimator displayed for my benefits:
This benefit estimator tool really lets you see the significant benefit differences depending on when you first receive benefits.
The other way to get an even closer look at your benefit estimate is to look at your annual Social Security Statement.
I hope the Social Security online application process works smoothly and expedites processing for everyone involved. If any of you try it, please leave a comment and let us know how it works.