Take Social Security When? Applications for Social Security benefits can only be processed four months before benefits are scheduled to begin. Therefore, the earliest you can apply is age 61 and nine months, and you can expect to receive your first payment four months later–the month after your birthday. However, the benefit payments come after each full month of eligibility.
Investopedia’s recent article, “When To Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits,” says that applying for Social Security benefits is a pretty simple process.
Applications can be submitted either online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. A very convenient way to apply is online at the Social Security Administration website. The application itself takes about 15 minutes and can be saved at any point for future completion. This application can also be used to apply for Medicare.
You should apply three months before you’d like to start getting the checks. To be certain that it’s a quick and easy application process, have all the necessary information on hand before starting. This includes things like birth and marriage dates, Social Security number, proof of citizenship, tax information, employment history, military records, health insurance information and bank account information for direct deposit.
Once you’ve finished the application and supplied all the requested information, you’re given a receipt for your records and a confirmation number to monitor the status of your application online after submission. Depending on your situation and what documentation is required, your application may be approved in the same month you applied. What happens to benefits and my spouse?
The benefit payment schedules are now dictated by date of birth. For people with birthdays between the 1st and 10th, payments will be made on the second Wednesday of every month. If your birthday is between the 11th and 20th, payment is made on the third Wednesday. For those born between the 21st and 31st, payments are made on the fourth Wednesday.
Therefore, if you turn 62 on December 15th, your first payment will get to you on the third Wednesday of the following February. If your birthday is December 15th and you are already over age 62, your first payment will arrive on the third Wednesday of the month following the month in which you apply. If you’re already on Social Security or receive both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, you could get them on different dates.
Reference: Investopedia (June 25, 2019) “When To Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits”