Applying for Social Security Online

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Topic Author
TravelforFun
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Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:47 am

Many SS recipients had noted on this forum problems they ran into when applying for benefits either online or in person. My wife applied for her SS benefits online a couple of months before she turned 62 and a deposit showed up in her checking account this week as promised. I applied online for my spousal benefits yesterday (I'll turn 66 in May) and received a confirmation immediately that my application is complete.

We found the whole online application process very easy.

TravelforFun

Ron
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Ron » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:09 am

My wife's birthday is also in May, with the first payment due in June.

However, her current on-line status shows "02/05/2018 Benefit Application Pending" (she applied on 2/5).

I'm sure this is because her claim requires "special handling" in order to apply her 48 months of Delayed Retirement Credits a/o May since she will be age 70 when she gets her first credit month with her first age 70 deposit in June and her record still does not reflect the full 48 month delay.

She's already gotten a call from SS to make her "an offer she couldn't refuse" (e.g. the 6-month lump sum payment). Of course, she refused :mrgreen: ...

BTW, I did a file/suspend at age 66 (when it was still "a thing"). When I turned 70 in January of this year, I didn't get a notice from SS until January 30th that I would be receiving a payment starting in February. However, they had to make a one-time special payment to my bank account on January 31, since they missed the normal processing cycle for February. I didn't apply nor notify them of turning age 70, since they already had me on the books as receiving a benefit at age 66; however that was for the benefit my wife has been receiving for the last 47 months.

- Ron

Topic Author
TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:17 am

Ron wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:09 am
BTW, I did a file/suspend at age 66 (when it was still "a thing"). When I turned 70 in January of this year, I didn't get a notice from SS until January 30th that I would be receiving a payment starting in February. However, they had to make a one-time special payment to my bank account on January 31, since they missed the normal processing cycle for February. I didn't apply nor notify them of turning age 70, since they already had me on the books as receiving a benefit at age 66; however that was for the benefit my wife has been receiving for the last 47 months.
So you did a 'file-and-suspend' at age 66 in order for your wife to file for her spousal benefits and the government remembered to pay you your own benefits with delayed credits at age 70 without you prompting them? That's very good.

TravelforFun

DetroitRick
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by DetroitRick » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am

OP, I'll echo your good experience - I did the same online, and got my first payment this week too. I was prepared for the worst, but it went smooth as silk for me:

Applied online Dec 6
Got email confirmation of application Dec 7, which also told me which office was working on my application
Got final benefit approval online, and later by mail, dated Dec 16
Got first check this week.

I'm still sort of shocked that it went this smooth. On a more humorous note, I got a followup letter on Feb 13 saying that my benefit amount had been calculated incorrectly. Fortunately before I had my first stroke, I read the whole letter and found out that error was exactly $1.00 per month.

Even better, in the middle of this process, they sent me another letter reminding me that I also may be entitled to a private pension benefit from a prior employer. With specifics. While I already knew it, the info they provided was 100% correct. Good service all around.

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TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:22 am

DetroitRick wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am
OP, I'll echo your good experience - I did the same online, and got my first payment this week too. I was prepared for the worst, but it went smooth as silk for me:

Applied online Dec 6
Got email confirmation of application Dec 7, which also told me which office was working on my application
Got final benefit approval online, and later by mail, dated Dec 16
Got first check this week.

I'm still sort of shocked that it went this smooth. On a more humorous note, I got a followup letter on Feb 13 saying that my benefit amount had been calculated incorrectly. Fortunately before I had my first stroke, I read the whole letter and found out that error was exactly $1.00 per month.

Even better, in the middle of this process, they sent me another letter reminding me that I also may be entitled to a private pension benefit from a prior employer. With specifics. While I already knew it, the info they provided was 100% correct. Good service all around.
Government works ... sometimes!

TravelforFun

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:42 pm

Ron wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:09 am
My wife's birthday is also in May, with the first payment due in June.

However, her current on-line status shows "02/05/2018 Benefit Application Pending" (she applied on 2/5).

I'm sure this is because her claim requires "special handling" in order to apply her 48 months of Delayed Retirement Credits a/o May since she will be age 70 when she gets her first credit month with her first age 70 deposit in June and her record still does not reflect the full 48 month delay.

She's already gotten a call from SS to make her "an offer she couldn't refuse" (e.g. the 6-month lump sum payment). Of course, she refused :mrgreen: ...

BTW, I did a file/suspend at age 66 (when it was still "a thing"). When I turned 70 in January of this year, I didn't get a notice from SS until January 30th that I would be receiving a payment starting in February. However, they had to make a one-time special payment to my bank account on January 31, since they missed the normal processing cycle for February. I didn't apply nor notify them of turning age 70, since they already had me on the books as receiving a benefit at age 66; however that was for the benefit my wife has been receiving for the last 47 months.

- Ron
I'm sure I'm one of the ones that the OP is referring to, since I had trouble with my recent restricted application, some due to my own fault, but most due to several unknowledgeable agents who all had a different understanding of a restricted application. Speaking of which, the last agent I spoke with said that I would have to re-file once I turned 70 to receive my own benefit, which was apparently untrue in your case.

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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Darth Xanadu » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:46 pm

DetroitRick wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am

I'm still sort of shocked that it went this smooth. On a more humorous note, I got a followup letter on Feb 13 saying that my benefit amount had been calculated incorrectly. Fortunately before I had my first stroke, I read the whole letter and found out that error was exactly $1.00 per month.
Hmm.... $1.00 / month in your favor, or against?!
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:47 pm

BTW, I got my confirmation in the mail for my restricted application which is to begin in July, with the first check coming in August. The letter said that I would receive a final call back within 30 days to confirm the benefit. Crossing my fingers that the next agent is better informed than the previous 6 I spoke with.

In contrast, my wife's application for her own benefit starting a month earlier went smooth as silk. I filled out that one too.

DetroitRick
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by DetroitRick » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:06 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:46 pm
DetroitRick wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am

I'm still sort of shocked that it went this smooth. On a more humorous note, I got a followup letter on Feb 13 saying that my benefit amount had been calculated incorrectly. Fortunately before I had my first stroke, I read the whole letter and found out that error was exactly $1.00 per month.
Hmm.... $1.00 / month in your favor, or against?!
As you have probably guessed, against. :) In their words, "we reduced your benefit ... because of a change in the national wage average that we use to calculate your benefits."

Ron
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Ron » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:45 pm

vested1 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:42 pm
Speaking of which, the last agent I spoke with said that I would have to re-file once I turned 70 to receive my own benefit, which was apparently untrue in your case.
No; it should be handled automatically as referenced in a previous posting of mine:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=208086&p=3192274&hi ... y#p3192274

- Ron

grandmacassie
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by grandmacassie » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:46 pm

DH filed (we both went to the SS office in person) for restricted spousal benefits on 2.13.18. He has checked weekly online and application is listed as "processing". We brought IDs, original SS cards, and original marriage certif from 1970's, which were all copied. I think y'all are getting better service than we are. Time to call.

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Wed May 02, 2018 9:19 am

grandmacassie wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:46 pm
DH filed (we both went to the SS office in person) for restricted spousal benefits on 2.13.18. He has checked weekly online and application is listed as "processing". We brought IDs, original SS cards, and original marriage certif from 1970's, which were all copied. I think y'all are getting better service than we are. Time to call.
Did you ever call and if so, did you get an answer about the delay in approving the restricted application? My application is also statused as "processing", nearly a month after receiving the letter saying they would call me to verify my choices within 30 days.

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TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Sat May 12, 2018 11:42 am

Update:

I applied online for spousal benefits on 4/19/2018 and received an email confirmation that my application was complete almost immediately.

Received a final approval letter from SSA yesterday 5/11/2018 stating my benefit amount and deposit schedule.

Waiting to see if my first deposit shows up third week of July as promised.

There are still two remaining transactions that I will need to make: 1) apply for my own benefits in 2022 when I turn 70, and 2) apply for my wife's spousal benefits afterward.

TravelforFun

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Sat May 12, 2018 5:31 pm

My update as well:

I called yesterday when my restricted application still said "processing" on the SSA website after more than a month since my last call, when I was told they had it all straight now. I talked to a different agent, the 7th. I was told that my corrected application had been mistakenly deleted, so I remained on the phone and gave them all the information again, including verifying who I was. The letter I had received recently was also incorrect in that it stated I had filed for my own benefit as well as spousal. I got it all straightened out after finally being directed to the agent who was actually handling my application.

I was assured that my restricted application was approved when he called me back an hour later, and was told I would be receiving one more letter at the end of June. This letter is supposed to verify my application in writing, the exact amount, which is 1/2 of my wife's PIA minus $134 for Medicare Part B, minus 10% federal withholding. My first check is to be direct deposited on August 8th. We'll see.

For those who may think this was due to an abrasive attitude, I was more than cordial on every call. This could have all been avoided if the agent I first spoke to on the National number had answered my simple question of which box to check online, rather than hanging up on me after more than an hour on hold, and after telling me in an insulting manner that restricted applications no longer existed "I don't know, since 2015 or 2016 sometime".

Once again on this newest call I was asked if I worked for Social Security since I had all the correct information and the terms at my fingertips. I guess I must be the exception that proves the rule, because most others don't have any problems whatsoever. Or maybe there were mistakes made which they are blissfully unaware of.

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Sat May 12, 2018 5:42 pm

Ron wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:45 pm
vested1 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:42 pm
Speaking of which, the last agent I spoke with said that I would have to re-file once I turned 70 to receive my own benefit, which was apparently untrue in your case.
No; it should be handled automatically as referenced in a previous posting of mine:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=208086&p=3192274&hi ... y#p3192274

- Ron
The agent I spoke to yesterday repeated verbatim what the last one did in this regard (in monotone), as if he were reading it from a script. He said I would have to reapply when I wanted to convert to my own benefit. I don't trust this any more than the other things they told me, some of which I had to correct in self defense in order to receive the correct amount and to ensure that I would only be receiving spousal.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Sat May 12, 2018 5:50 pm

vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:31 pm
My update as well:

I was assured that my restricted application was approved when he called me back an hour later, and was told I would be receiving one more letter at the end of June. This letter is supposed to verify my application in writing, the exact amount, which is 1/2 of my wife's PIA minus $134 for Medicare Part B, minus 10% federal withholding. My first check is to be direct deposited on August 8th. We'll see.
Hope you would update us again at the end of June.

TravelforFun

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Sat May 12, 2018 6:14 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:50 pm
vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:31 pm
My update as well:

I was assured that my restricted application was approved when he called me back an hour later, and was told I would be receiving one more letter at the end of June. This letter is supposed to verify my application in writing, the exact amount, which is 1/2 of my wife's PIA minus $134 for Medicare Part B, minus 10% federal withholding. My first check is to be direct deposited on August 8th. We'll see.
Hope you would update us again at the end of June.

TravelforFun
I will. He said I would be getting a letter on June 30th. My birthday is July 2nd. Weird.

Austintatious
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Austintatious » Sat May 12, 2018 6:29 pm

I'm following this thread with heightened interest, given that DW will be making her restricted application for spousal in late October, to be effective starting in January. It appears to me that the path of least resistance may be the online filing method, since personal interaction with a misinformed or just plain surly SS representative is presumably not part of the process. I, too, will be hoping for forum follow-up as time passes and, hopefully, the thread continues. Thanks to all for the input so far.

Ron
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Ron » Sun May 13, 2018 7:02 am

vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:14 pm
I will. He said I would be getting a letter on June 30th. My birthday is July 2nd. Weird.
I turned 70 this past January. I didn't receive my benefit letter from SSA until January 31 for my first scheduled deposit less than two weeks later, in February.

My wife turns 70 this month (May); she didn't receive her benefit letter until the last week of April.

In both cases, it really didn't matter since the pay date is the following month of the eligibility date. In reality, SSA is sending the benefit letter before the first payment date actually occurs, anywhere from a few weeks to over a month in advance.

- Ron

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Sun May 13, 2018 9:02 am

Ron wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:02 am
vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:14 pm
I will. He said I would be getting a letter on June 30th. My birthday is July 2nd. Weird.
I turned 70 this past January. I didn't receive my benefit letter from SSA until January 31 for my first scheduled deposit less than two weeks later, in February.

My wife turns 70 this month (May); she didn't receive her benefit letter until the last week of April.

In both cases, it really didn't matter since the pay date is the following month of the eligibility date. In reality, SSA is sending the benefit letter before the first payment date actually occurs, anywhere from a few weeks to over a month in advance.

- Ron
I'd like to say that you, and others like you have been my inspiration Ron. Something about the emotional aspect of when to claim SS is pervasive, and the occasional criticism I receive from friends and family who ask, unbidden, if I have claimed yet has been surprising. The reward for patience is no more meaningful anywhere than it is for delaying SS.

I see the criticism by those who have already claimed as an attempt at justifying a decision which can't be reversed, although I would never put that into words in reply to those who are at a loss as to why I would continue to delay. I normally just smile and shrug, and refuse to proselytize delaying or criticize claiming early. It's best to remain focused on the goal, and to remain humble in the knowledge that what's good for one may not be good for the other.

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TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:05 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:22 am
DetroitRick wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:20 am
OP, I'll echo your good experience - I did the same online, and got my first payment this week too. I was prepared for the worst, but it went smooth as silk for me:

Applied online Dec 6
Got email confirmation of application Dec 7, which also told me which office was working on my application
Got final benefit approval online, and later by mail, dated Dec 16
Got first check this week.

I'm still sort of shocked that it went this smooth. On a more humorous note, I got a followup letter on Feb 13 saying that my benefit amount had been calculated incorrectly. Fortunately before I had my first stroke, I read the whole letter and found out that error was exactly $1.00 per month.

Even better, in the middle of this process, they sent me another letter reminding me that I also may be entitled to a private pension benefit from a prior employer. With specifics. While I already knew it, the info they provided was 100% correct. Good service all around.
Government works ... sometimes!

TravelforFun
Update: My first SS spousal benefit check was deposited into my checking account last week earlier than the SS Administration had promised. Bravo!

My next update would be four years from now when I file for my own benefits.

TravelforFun

Austintatious
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Austintatious » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:11 am

Bravo, indeed!

bayview
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by bayview » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:16 pm

vested1 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:02 am
Ron wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:02 am
vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:14 pm
I will. He said I would be getting a letter on June 30th. My birthday is July 2nd. Weird.
I turned 70 this past January. I didn't receive my benefit letter from SSA until January 31 for my first scheduled deposit less than two weeks later, in February.

My wife turns 70 this month (May); she didn't receive her benefit letter until the last week of April.

In both cases, it really didn't matter since the pay date is the following month of the eligibility date. In reality, SSA is sending the benefit letter before the first payment date actually occurs, anywhere from a few weeks to over a month in advance.

- Ron
I'd like to say that you, and others like you have been my inspiration Ron. Something about the emotional aspect of when to claim SS is pervasive, and the occasional criticism I receive from friends and family who ask, unbidden, if I have claimed yet has been surprising. The reward for patience is no more meaningful anywhere than it is for delaying SS.

I see the criticism by those who have already claimed as an attempt at justifying a decision which can't be reversed, although I would never put that into words in reply to those who are at a loss as to why I would continue to delay. I normally just smile and shrug, and refuse to proselytize delaying or criticize claiming early. It's best to remain focused on the goal, and to remain humble in the knowledge that what's good for one may not be good for the other.
I had thought that I would delay until 70 as well. (Higher earning spouse filed early, and I missed the file-and-suspend bit for spousal by a few months.)

Per Oblivious Investor’s calculator, we will do better instead as a couple if I also file early when I retire at age 54. There are a lot of subtleties in this.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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munemaker
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by munemaker » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:32 pm

DW applied online about 2 weeks ago for SS to begin in June. Application was easy and it seems to be chugging through the bureaucracy. So far, so good.
Last edited by munemaker on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:54 pm

bayview wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:16 pm
Per Oblivious Investor’s calculator, we will do better instead as a couple if I also file early when I retire at age 54. There are a lot of subtleties in this.
File at 54?
Very Stable Genius

bayview
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by bayview » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:05 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:54 pm
bayview wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:16 pm
Per Oblivious Investor’s calculator, we will do better instead as a couple if I also file early when I retire at age 54. There are a lot of subtleties in this.
File at 54?
Sorry, 64. I feel older every day! :D
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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munemaker
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by munemaker » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:44 pm

munemaker wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:32 pm
DW applied online about 2 weeks ago for SS to begin in June. Application was easy and it seems to be chugging through the bureaucracy. So far, so good.
UPDATE: Checked and DW completed the online application for SS on 6/11/2018. She checked on the status of her application today. Found it was approved yesterday and the first direct deposit was made today (has not shown up in our [joint] account yet). So about a 2 week turnaround...pretty good for the government.

Topic Author
TravelforFun
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:46 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:44 pm
munemaker wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:32 pm
DW applied online about 2 weeks ago for SS to begin in June. Application was easy and it seems to be chugging through the bureaucracy. So far, so good.
UPDATE: Checked and DW completed the online application for SS on 6/11/2018. She checked on the status of her application today. Found it was approved yesterday and the first direct deposit was made today (has not shown up in our [joint] account yet). So about a 2 week turnaround...pretty good for the government.
Congratulations!

TravelforFun

vested1
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by vested1 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:50 pm

vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 6:14 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:50 pm
vested1 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 5:31 pm
My update as well:

I was assured that my restricted application was approved when he called me back an hour later, and was told I would be receiving one more letter at the end of June. This letter is supposed to verify my application in writing, the exact amount, which is 1/2 of my wife's PIA minus $134 for Medicare Part B, minus 10% federal withholding. My first check is to be direct deposited on August 8th. We'll see.
Hope you would update us again at the end of June.

TravelforFun
I will. He said I would be getting a letter on June 30th. My birthday is July 2nd. Weird.
Update as requested. Got the promised confirmation letter today that shows all the correct information for my restricted application. 1st check will be direct deposited on 8/8. Success!

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munemaker
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by munemaker » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:29 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:44 pm
munemaker wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:32 pm
DW applied online about 2 weeks ago for SS to begin in June. Application was easy and it seems to be chugging through the bureaucracy. So far, so good.
UPDATE: Checked and DW completed the online application for SS on 6/11/2018. She checked on the status of her application today. Found it was approved yesterday and the first direct deposit was made today (has not shown up in our [joint] account yet). So about a 2 week turnaround...pretty good for the government.
UPDATE: SS website indicated they made the June payment to her on 06/26/2018 and it first showed in our joint account today 07/02/2018. The July payment will be made automatically and should be direct deposited in August.

zeugmite
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by zeugmite » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:27 am

Those who have gone through the process, what's the earliest date you can choose to begin receiving payments if you apply at a given time (assuming eligibility checks out), i.e. what's the minimum processing time?

zeugmite
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by zeugmite » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:34 am

munemaker wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:44 pm
UPDATE: Checked and DW completed the online application for SS on 6/11/2018. She checked on the status of her application today. Found it was approved yesterday and the first direct deposit was made today (has not shown up in our [joint] account yet). So about a 2 week turnaround...pretty good for the government.
That seems ... quick. Can you put the current month in? And if spouse is also applying for spousal benefits, do they have to wait till this application is approved first or can they also make an application simultaneously? (I suppose there is always the retroactive option.)

rvflyer
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by rvflyer » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:04 am

Off topic a bit but does anyone know if benefits are computed in age only increments or monthly increments?
If I apply at age 64 and a half do I get half a year added or is the benefit simply 64 or 65 when I get there?

Ron
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Ron » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:04 pm

zeugmite wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:34 am
<snip...>And if spouse is also applying for spousal benefits, do they have to wait till this application is approved first or can they also make an application simultaneously? (I suppose there is always the retroactive option.)
I turned 66 (my FRA) in January, 2014. My wife turned 66 (her FRA) in May, 2014. I did the file/suspend bit while she did the restricted application (for 50% of my FRA amount) at the same time, same day in February, 2014, at the SS office.

They processed our application in sequence - that is they did mine first (took a few weeks) followed by hers, due to the sequence of events that had to take place; she could not apply a restricted application if I had not yet filed for SS, regardless if I was getting benefits or suspending them.

The point is that we applied at the same time/day. The SS folks took care of processing them in the sequence they needed to be in.

- Ron

SpideyIndexer
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by SpideyIndexer » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:05 pm

Has anyone either applied and/or requested an accurate benefit statement prior to applying when subject to WEP? I see lots of warning about WEP and GPO on the SSA website but absolutely no instructions about what actions to take. Do nothing and wait for the bad news with the first benefit check?

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daytona084
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Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by daytona084 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 am

I submitted my application for benefits on August 10, 2018. Expecting benefits to start in November. (first check would be December)

Checking the progress online, the SSA web site has the following information:

08/13/2018 Benefit Application Pending
We are reviewing your Retirement benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.

As you can see - that was over two months ago. No change in status for all that time.
DW also applied for spousal benefit on the same date, with the same status reported at this time.

Seems like some of the earlier posts in this thread reported faster progress. Should we be concerned? And what is the best way to check?

Topic Author
TravelforFun
Posts: 1962
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:32 pm

daytona084 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 am
I submitted my application for benefits on August 10, 2018. Expecting benefits to start in November. (first check would be December)

Checking the progress online, the SSA web site has the following information:

08/13/2018 Benefit Application Pending
We are reviewing your Retirement benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.

As you can see - that was over two months ago. No change in status for all that time.
DW also applied for spousal benefit on the same date, with the same status reported at this time.

Seems like some of the earlier posts in this thread reported faster progress. Should we be concerned? And what is the best way to check?
Did you apply online? If you did, did you get a confirmation from SS that your application was complete? I received the confirmation almost immediately and the award letter three weeks after that. I would've been concerned if I hadn't gotten the award letter after two months. Hope there is an SSA office close to where you live where you can go in and talk to someone.

TravelforFun

Clumsum
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:18 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Clumsum » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:45 pm

I turn 65 in January and am still working. My insurance requires me to start Medicare at 65. I applied online on 10/9/18. I got s call from a SS agent processing the application on 10/15/18. I was surprised by the call that quick and that it came on a Saturday. It was the SS Administration.

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GerryL
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by GerryL » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:52 pm

daytona084 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 am
I submitted my application for benefits on August 10, 2018. Expecting benefits to start in November. (first check would be December)

Checking the progress online, the SSA web site has the following information:

08/13/2018 Benefit Application Pending
We are reviewing your Retirement benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.

As you can see - that was over two months ago. No change in status for all that time.
DW also applied for spousal benefit on the same date, with the same status reported at this time.

Seems like some of the earlier posts in this thread reported faster progress. Should we be concerned? And what is the best way to check?
I applied online on May 16 for benefits to begin in Sept when I would turn 70. (They'd actually sent me a letter urging me to apply NOW.) I rapidly received the same type of response you did.
In August I was getting antsy as I would be out-of-country the whole month of Sept and had not heard from anyone. I did not want to return in October anticipating my first check only to learn they had some unresolved questions and "Gee, you should have called us earlier." So I tried several times to get an update by phone. That was futile.

The determination letter arrived while I was out of town one week before my birthday. (First payment landed in my checking account last week.)

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daytona084
Posts: 863
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:47 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by daytona084 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:05 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:32 pm
daytona084 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:46 am
I submitted my application for benefits on August 10, 2018. Expecting benefits to start in November. (first check would be December)

Checking the progress online, the SSA web site has the following information:

08/13/2018 Benefit Application Pending
We are reviewing your Retirement benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.

As you can see - that was over two months ago. No change in status for all that time.
DW also applied for spousal benefit on the same date, with the same status reported at this time.

Seems like some of the earlier posts in this thread reported faster progress. Should we be concerned? And what is the best way to check?
Did you apply online? If you did, did you get a confirmation from SS that your application was complete? I received the confirmation almost immediately and the award letter three weeks after that. I would've been concerned if I hadn't gotten the award letter after two months. Hope there is an SSA office close to where you live where you can go in and talk to someone.

TravelforFun
Thank you TravelforFun - I checked and found that I received this email on August 13th (emphasis mine):

Thank you for filing your Social Security application online. Our Social Security Office in AUBURN, WA received your claim and will be working with you to process it. Our goal is to process all applications efficiently.

A representative may call you for more information at the phone number you provided on your application. Please be aware that our representative may call you outside normal business hours, such as on a weekend or during the evening. If we are unable to reach you by phone, we may also contact you by e-mail or U.S. mail.

You should receive a letter in the mail within 30 days with a decision or to request additional information. If you have a future month of entitlement, you should receive a letter in the mail approximately thirty days before your benefits should start. Also, you can check the status of your application at Status of your application or you may call us at (855) 807-8675 with questions. Please wait five days from the time that you filed before checking the status online.

If you have not done so already, please log onto my Social Security will provide you with quick and easy access to many of our services.


So I called the phone number... no luck talking to a person, but I left a call back message. We shall see if they call back.
GerryL wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:52 pm


I applied online on May 16 for benefits to begin in Sept when I would turn 70. (They'd actually sent me a letter urging me to apply NOW.) I rapidly received the same type of response you did.
In August I was getting antsy as I would be out-of-country the whole month of Sept and had not heard from anyone. I did not want to return in October anticipating my first check only to learn they had some unresolved questions and "Gee, you should have called us earlier." So I tried several times to get an update by phone. That was futile.

The determination letter arrived while I was out of town one week before my birthday. (First payment landed in my checking account last week.)
Thanks GerryL.... So far, my experience is the same as yours. Hoping my outcome is the same as yours also.

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daytona084
Posts: 863
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:47 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by daytona084 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:16 pm

Wow... They actually called back within minutes of my leaving a message.

The representative told me that my application has been "adjudicated" ... approved with no snags or anything. But no communication will occur until a couple weeks before the first payment. (Which in my case will be in December.) Seems like it would be a good idea for them to be a bit more communicative, but OK fine.

This explains the timetable that GerryL experienced above.

Thanks for the replies!

pahkcah
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by pahkcah » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:36 pm

SpideyIndexer,

To answer your initial question, I first calculated my expected benefit amount (known as the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)) using the WEP calculator provided by SS at the following web address: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/anyPiaWepjs04.html.

I then set up an appointment with an SS representative and was provided with a “Benefit Matrix” that showed the amount I would receive based on whatever age (in years and months) I might choose to start collecting my benefit. Looking at age 66 and 0 months, the monthly benefit amount I calculated was within about $10 of the amount that the SS representative told me I would receive.

I need to point out that the benefit matrix provided by SS did not account for the WEP. I had to use the WEP Chart provided at this web address (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep-chart.html) to determine what my monthly WEP reduction would be. As an example, if someone turned 62 during 2016 and had 20 or less years of substantial SS earnings, their reduction would be a maximum of $428 per month.

To set up an appointment, I called the general SS number (1-800-772-1213) and selected an option to have someone call me back. They returned my call about 30 minutes later, which is exactly when the SS said they would call back. Please note that if the office nearest to you does not have any available appointments, you can ask to check if there are available appointments at another SS office.

So you don’t have to wait or anticipate what the "bad news" might be. You can run the calculations and/or set up an appointment and get the bad news ahead of time. I hope this answers your questions, and the news isn't so bad. :happy

pahkcah

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Lancelot
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:09 pm
Location: Philippines

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Lancelot » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:00 pm

I filed online for Divorced Spousal Benefits this past September. About 30 days after my application was accepted, I received a letter stating that my claim was approved and I would receive a "formal decision letter" on the month I am eligible. However, my application status online still shows "pending." :D
No Where for Very Long...

Mickey7
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:52 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by Mickey7 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:13 am

Spideyindexer,

It would be best to follow pahkcah's advise and find out what your true benefit will be. I went to the SS office when I turned 62 and was amazed at what it would be, but it knowing in advance helped define my retirement strategy. At 66 I went back primarily to do a number check (everything was spot on correct). Since the numbers jibe I feel confident when I finally retire at 67 1/2 all should be fine as the agents both times did a good job.

JGoneRiding
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Applying for Social Security Online

Post by JGoneRiding » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:19 pm

rvflyer wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:04 am
Off topic a bit but does anyone know if benefits are computed in age only increments or monthly increments?
If I apply at age 64 and a half do I get half a year added or is the benefit simply 64 or 65 when I get there?
I don't see that anyone answered. Maybe you already found it for yourself but yes you get credit for every month you delay. 64 and 1 month will give you a higher benefit then 64

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