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
- 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