Social security questions, answersQuestion: How long does it take to complete the online application for Social Security retirement benefits?
By: Sharon Rushford, Social Security Administration, Alexandria Echo Press
Question: How long does it take to complete the online application for Social Security retirement benefits?
Answer: It can take as little as 15 minutes to complete the online application. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation to mail in.
Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. There's no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. To retire online, go to www.socialsecurity.gov.
Question: I have never worked, but my spouse has. What will my Social Security benefit be?
Answer: You can be entitled to as much as one-half of your spouse's benefit amount if you start your benefits when you reach full retirement age. If you want to get Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement age, the amount of your benefit will be reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you will reach full retirement age.
For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you can get 35 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62. The amount of your benefit increases at later ages up to the maximum of 50 percent if you retire at full retirement age. However, if you are taking care of a child who is younger than age 16 or who gets Social Security disability benefits, you get full benefits, regardless of your age. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/yourspouse.htm.