Things You'll Need
Bank account information
Gather your paperwork. Get all the tax and benefit documents together such as W-2 forms, birth certificate, and your bank account information.
Fill out the online Social Security Benefits application. Use the Social Security Benefits form on the Social Security site. The Social Security benefits application states it should take between 10 and 30 minutes to fill out the online benefits application.
Submit your online application. Once you have filled in all the information required on your retirement benefits form, you can submit your application. Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email or telephone once your application is approved.
Apply by Telephone
Gather your paperwork. To apply by telephone, gather your retirement documents such as: W-2 form, birth certificate, and bank account information.
Contact your Social Security office. Call the Social Security office at: 1-800-772-1213.
A representative will assist you in filling out an application over the telephone. If the Social Security office is particularly busy, they may schedule a call back time to fill out your application.
Ask for confirmation. After you have filed for your benefits, request a confirmation date of when your benefits will begin. If the Social Security worker can not provide you with a date, ask that they contact you via telephone or mail when a start date is available for your benefits.
Apply in Person
Find your local Social Security branch office. Using the Social Security office locator at socialsecurity.gov, type in your zip code and locate your local Social Security office. This page will also show your local office hours. Record the address and office hours.
Gather your paperwork. Gather your retirement benefit documents such as W-2 forms, birth certificate, and bank account information. Your birth certificate must be the original; all other documents can be copies. Clip all your documents together or store in an easy-to-carry folder to keep your documents secure.
Make an appointment with your local Social Security office. It is not required to make an appointment a head of time, however, it will save waiting time at the Social Security office. There will be a Social Security official to help you fill out your application.