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Filing an Application

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


1500. Filing an Application

1500.1 Why do you need to file an application for benefits?

You must file an application to:

  1. Become entitled to benefits, including Medicare;

  2. Establish a period of disability under the retirement, survivors, and disability insurance programs; or

  3. Become eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

1500.2 How do you apply for benefits?

Fill out the application on a form issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). (See §1511.) File the completed and signed application form at a Social Security office or with a person authorized by us to receive applications. If you need an interpreter to communicate with us, we will provide one upon request, free of charge. SSA has a nationwide contract for telephone interpreter services in more than 150 languages and dialects. Based on SSA's signature alternatives to the traditional pen-and-ink signature, for teleclaims and in-person Title II, Title XVI, and Title XVIII (Medicare) claims, the application is signed once the SSA interviewer confirms and annotates the system electronically of the claimant's intent to file, his or her affirmation of the correctness of the information that is provided under penalty of perjury, and agreement to sign the application. (See §§1505-1506 and 1511-1512.) When the signature is recorded electronically, it is no longer necessary for SSA to retain the paper application. Also, some applications for Social Security benefits are available to you on our Internet website, therefore, you can apply for some Social Security benefits online. For claims that are filed on the Internet website the application is signed when you press the "Sign Now" button.

1500.3 Do you have to file an application for hospital and medical insurance if you are 65 or older?

If you are age 65 or older and entitled to monthly benefits under Social Security or railroad retirement, you are automatically entitled to hospital insurance and medical insurance. You do not need to file a separate application for these benefits. If you are eligible for monthly benefits and are age 65 or older, you may apply for hospital insurance (Medicare Part A) and medical insurance (Medicare Part B) without applying for monthly benefits.

If you are age 65 or older and not entitled to monthly benefits under Social Security or railroad retirement, you need to file an application for hospital and medical insurance. You must be willing to pay the monthly premiums involved. (See Chapter 24.)

1500.4 Where can you find additional information about hospital and medical insurance benefits, the prescription drug benefit and extra help with prescription drug costs?

Chapter 24 includes information concerning entitlement to hospital and medical insurance (Medicare) for persons entitled to disability benefits and persons with end-stage renal disease requiring renal dialysis or kidney transplant. It also includes information about the prescription drug benefit. Chapter 26 includes information about extra help with prescription drug costs.

Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2007



There are 10 Comments

My name is Conception A. G. My birthdate is 1945. I would be getting my benefits next year. I am now receiving a part of my husband's, Manuel G., Social Security. I understand that in addition to my benefits, I could also get my husband's as well. Is this true?

Please let me know what I am entitle to for sure. I need to know, also, if I can possibly get an extention now, from my husband's social security.


Conception A. G.

A spouse who has not worked or who has low earnings can be entitled to as much as one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit. If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, Social Security will always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.

If you have reached your full retirement age, and are eligible for a spouse's or ex-spouse's benefit and your own retirement benefit, you may choose to receive only spouse's benefits and continue accruing delayed retirement credits on your own Social Security record. You may then file for benefits at a later date and receive a higher monthly benefit based on the effect of delayed retirement credits.

See here for details :

my name joe calvin i. you did not overpay me in 2006 i had earn that money before s.s.

I am a 67 year old male, still working, am receiving insurance benefits from my employer to which I contribute, am now receiving social security benefits, but have had a couple of pretty serious medical problems that required hospital stays of 15 -30 days at a time. Should I get part B coverage as well. I do earn a 6 digit income.
thank you

This is something you'd have to evaluate based on the insurance coverage provided by your employer and other factors.

The following link doesn't fit your situation exactly, but it may help guide your thinking :

For example, it points out you must be enrolled in Parts A and B to join a Medicare Advantage plan. If Medicare Advantage is important to you, you may want to sign up for Part B.

The following document may also help. It helps you know who pays first if you have other health insurance.

My husband was eligible for Medicare B in February. At that time he had Commonwealth Care so he denied the coverage for Medicare because he was already insured. What we were unaware of is that you can't be on Commonwealth Care if you are eligible for Medicare. What is he to do now. He is un-insured and cant afford his medication without insurance. Is there any way to get him enrolled now?

I applied for SSDI about several months ago, have not heard from the
application submitted.rmhe


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