News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Seniors

December 28, 2009

Social Security: Now’s the time to apply online for a New Year retirement

If you’re planning on retiring sometime early in the new year, now is the time to apply for retirement benefits. The most convenient way to apply for Social Security benefits is online — from the comfort of your home or office. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

Our Web site will walk you through the online retirement application process. We will tell you what information you will need to answer the questions on the application. Further, we will describe the documents you may need to present once you have submitted your application.

Before you start your application, we recommend you get an estimate of your retirement benefit. This too, you can do on the Social Security Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. The Retirement Estimator uses your personal employment history to estimate your retirement benefit. It also will help you to answer some of the questions on the retirement application.

You can use the online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouses benefits if you:

• are at least 61 years and 9 months old;

• want to start your benefits in the next four months; and

• live in the United States.

You will want to be fully informed of your options and their consequences before applying. The Web site will tell you everything you need to know about the Social Security “basics” so you’ll be ready to retire when you apply online.

Before filing online for retirement, we suggest you have the following information on hand:

Your date and place of birth and Social Security number;

Your bank or financial institution’s routing transit number and the account number, for direct deposit of your benefits;

The amount of money earned last year and this year. If you are filing for benefits in the months of September through December, you also will need to estimate next year’s earnings;

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