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I will be going to the Social Security Office to apply for retirement benefits. What do I need to take with me?

Making the first trip to the Social Security Office to apply for retirement benefits? To avoid frustration:

  • Make an appointment for this initial visit. You can call the toll free 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment; otherwise you may have a lengthy visit.
  • Bring a copy of your W-2 or tax return from the last year you worked as proof of your earnings. The Social Security office will have records of your earnings over your lifetime, but they may not have your most recent records.
  • Bring a certified copy of your birth certificate, which helps prevent a delay in processing your claim. A certified copy expedites the process and will be returned to you.
  • Bring family information and support documents. If you are married, and your spouse's age is at least 62, you'll need your spouse's Social Security number and birth certificate also.
  • When you schedule your appointment, also ask the receptionist what to bring in case new requirements have been added.



Written by Sandra McKinnon and Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Family Financial Education Specialists, University of Missouri-Extension


Last update: Sunday, April 23, 2006









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