Whether you use them to offset the cost of medical care, home care services, or even just the expenses of daily life, Social Security benefits can be a game changer. But to utilize them, you’ll first need to understand how to find and access them. The Social Security Administration allows you to find benefit information online or in person; you can also submit and appeal benefit applications from the comfort of your own home. Let’s look at how you can access your benefits without a hassle.
- You can quickly find your New York Social Security benefits using the Social Security Administration’s online services. Creating and logging into a “My Social Security” account should allow you to view benefit amounts, application statuses, and more.
- You may also receive benefit information via mail or by visiting your local Social Security office in person.
- If you’re unsure how to log into your account, have questions about your benefits, or need assistance, contact your local SSA office in New York.
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How Can I Find My Social Security Benefits?
You have two main options for finding information about your Social Security benefits: you can either do so online or in person. We recommend finding your benefits online because it’s quick and relatively simple.
To find your benefits online, you’ll need to create an account on the Social Security Administration’s “My Social Security” platform. A “My Social Security” account (“MSS account”) grants you access to details about your current earnings history and future benefits. It also allows you to view copies of Social Security statements.
If you prefer to learn more about your benefits the old-fashioned way, that’s okay. Workers aged 60 or older should find paper copies of their Social Security Statements in the mail three months prior to their birthday. You can also find and visit your local Social Security office to inquire about benefits in person.
Once you’ve established a way to view your benefit information, you can learn how much you can expect to receive from any of the following Social Security programs. We’ll take a closer look at some of these benefit options later on.
- Retirement Benefits: Those who paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes over the years and who have reached the full retirement age (which ranges from 62 to 67) can receive Social Security retirement benefits.
- Disability Benefits: Individuals who cannot work due to a qualifying disability may be eligible for these payments.
- Survivors Benefits: These benefits go to the dependents, such as a spouse or child, of a deceased individual who provided financial security.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Individuals who are elderly, disabled, or blind and who have limited income and resources can take advantage of SSI benefits.
Signing Up for a Social Security Account
Ready to start accessing your Social Security benefit information online? Follow these basic steps to sign up for a My Social Security account.
- Ensure you know your status. Have you ever created or logged into an MSS account before? Do you already have login credentials from previous applications? If so, take the time to find them.
- If necessary, create a new account. If you’re completely new to the MSS platform or unsure if you have login credentials, visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to get started. When you select “Create an Account,” you’ll be prompted to create a new My Social Security account using Login.gov or ID.me.
Choose whichever option you prefer — both are credentialed service providers and work just fine. If you have created an MSS account in the past (before September 18, 2021), you can use your old credentials to log in.
- Sign in using your credentials. Once you’ve created your account by following the instructions outlined by Login.gov or ID.me, sign in with your new credentials. You should now be able to browse information about your applications, benefits, and more.
How to Find Social Security Benefits for Disabled Workers
Retirement benefits aren’t the only kind of Social Security benefit you might be interested in. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program offers financial support for those who cannot work due to a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Like Medicare and Medicaid, SSDI is a government-run program. It pays beneficiaries and certain family members so long as you have worked long enough and recently enough. You must also have paid Social Security taxes on your earnings.
You can find the benefit amount you’re eligible for by submitting an application. Whether you choose to apply in person, online, or by phone, you can expect to follow these steps:
- Prepare for the disability benefits application process by gathering all the necessary documentation. The Social Security Administration recommends reviewing and printing this Adult Disability Checklist to learn what information you need to apply. Examples of details you may need to provide include your date of birth, Social Security number, earnings information, and work history, among others.
- With all your documents on hand, complete and submit your application in person at your local Social Security office or on the SSA’s website.
- Wait for your application to be processed. The SSA reviews each application to ensure it meets the basic requirements for disability benefits. This is also when your work history, current work activities, and earnings record will be reviewed.
- Your application will be processed and forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office in your state, which will make and return the final verdict on your eligibility.
- Check your application status online using your personal My Social Security account. Or, if you prefer, call the SSA’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- If you’re unsatisfied with the decisions made about your eligibility, you can request an appeal in writing. Just ensure you do so within 60 days of receiving notice of the decision.
Once your application is approved, you can use your My Social Security account to view your benefits. You can also choose to set up a direct deposit to receive the funds.
How to Find Supplemental Social Security Income Benefits
The Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to adults and children who meet the requirements for a qualifying disability and have limited income and resources. It also supports people ages 65 and older who are not disabled but have limited income and resources. It’s similar to, yet still distinct from, the SSDI program.
The application process is the same: gather your materials, head to the application portal, and complete your end. Once you receive benefits, you can check their status and access them from your My Social Security account.
When in doubt or if you’d like more information on how to access your benefits, it’s a good idea to check in with your local Social Security office.