Advantages of applying online for Social Security benefits include the convenience of applying at home and the time saved by not driving to a Social Security office and waiting to be seen by a representative. With online applications, applicants don’t have to sign forms and usually don’t submit additional documentation.
Online applications do not have to be completed all at once. Applications can be saved and completed later. However, if an application is left open without any information being added for a period of 25 minutes, a warning pops up on the screen that asks the applicant if more time is needed. Three warnings are allowed before applicants are required to go to another page of the application.
Once the application is complete, applicants get a receipt with a confirmation number that can be used to check the status of the application. After reviewing an application, the Social Security Administration contacts the applicant if any additional documentation is needed. Applicants are contacted by mail with a decision about their application.
To apply on line, applicants must be at least 61 years and 9 months old. They must not have a current application in progress and must not be currently receiving benefits.