The purpose of a Social Security application is to provide people who reach retirement age a way to apply for entitled Social Security benefits. An application is available online at the Social Security Administration website (SSA.gov), and people can obtain a hard copy by visiting a local office.
People who reach retirement age can also apply for entitled benefits by dialing the toll-free number and following the prompts. If additional information is required, such as supporting documentation, a representative contacts the applicant.
The Social Security Administration recommends that a person apply for benefits at least three months in advance of the time she wishes to begin receiving them.