Do You Have to Schedule an in-Office Appointment When Applying for Social Security Benefits?

To apply for Social Security retirement benefits, disability benefits or Medicare, applicants don't have to schedule an in-office appointment, as they can apply by phone or online. To apply for Social Security Supplemental Income benefits, applicants must do so in person.

When applying for SSI benefits, applicants need to fill out Form SSA-8000-BK, Application for Supplemental Security Income. The applicant may also need to fill out Form SSA-3368-BK, Adult Disability Report or Form SSA-3820-BK, Disability Report-Child. Employees of the Social Security Administration assist applicants in determining the types of forms and other paperwork needed with the application.

The Social Security Administration's website has a search tool to allow applicants to locate the Social Security office closest to them.