Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American. Millions count on us: retirees who have worked hard all their lives, people who can no longer work due to a disability, dependents and survivors. As a member of the Rural Partners Network, we want to continue reaching out to rural communities.
We make it easy for you to access our programs and services. Our website offers a convenient way to apply for benefits online. You can apply online for:
• Retirement or Spouse Benefits – You must be at least 61 years and nine months old and want your benefits to begin within no more than four months. See our Apply for Benefits page at www.ssa.gov/retireonline for information on how to apply.
• Disability Benefits – Our disability program pays benefits to employees and certain family members who are “insured.” This means they’ve worked long enough — and recently enough — and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. Launch our online application at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline to begin the process.
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI provides monthly payments to adults and children with disabilities or blindness, or those over age 65, who have low incomes and few resources. Visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi to start your application online, or tell us you want to apply or help someone else apply and we will contact you to schedule an appointment.
• Medicare – Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older, some people younger than age 65 with disabilities, and people with end-stage kidney disease. If you are not yet receiving Social Security benefits, you must apply for Medicare three months before you turn 65 on our Medicare Benefits page at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.
• Additional Medicare Prescription Drug Assistance – Additional assistance helps pay monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments associated with Medicare prescription drug coverage. Apply at www.ssa.gov/extrahelp.
We also encourage rural community leaders to encourage people to sign up for a personal My Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. With a personal my social security account, you can apply for a replacement social security card, verify income, request future benefit estimates, and obtain benefit verification letters.
We also provide survivor benefits to widows, widowers and dependents of eligible employees. This advantage is especially important for young families with children. You cannot apply for survivor benefit online. Visit our website for more information at www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors.
If you are unable to use our online services, call our toll-free national number at 1-800-772-1213. We may be able to assist you over the phone, and if an office visit is required, we can arrange an appointment to reduce waiting time in an office.
We remain committed to preserving the well-being and protection of the people we serve, including those in rural areas. Please share this information with others in your local community.