2007-10-12 / Columnists

Social Security And You

Don't Be Afraid To Apply Online
Commentary By James Glasser, Manager, Far Rockaway Social Security Office

James Glasser James Glasser This Halloween, people will be frightened by different things. Scary costumes. Frightening flicks. Ghastly pranks. The dark.

But there's no need for anyone to be afraid to apply for Social Security benefits online!

If you've been dreading the drive to the nearest Social Security office to apply for retirement benefits, let us tell you about a trick that's as sweet as a treat: you can save yourself a trip and apply for benefits from the safety of your own home or office by going online.

That's right - you can complete your application for retirement benefits right over the Internet.

Just log on to your computer and visit our website at www.socialsecurity. gov/applytoretire.

Here you can apply online for your retirement benefits from the comfort of your own home or office.

When you click on the "sign now" button at the end of the application, you are signing the application electronically and accepting responsibility for the accuracy of the information you submit to Social Security.

Of course, we will still need to have appropriate documents to make a decision on your claim, such as proof of age, earnings and marriage. But we will be able to streamline the claims process and provide better service to you by eliminating the need to complete, sign and return a paper application form.

So don't be afraid to go online and apply for retirement benefits today.

If you're not ready to plunge into the retirement waters just yet, but you're thinking about doing so in the near future, you may want to visit Social Security's website to use our convenient and informative retirement planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2.

You can find out just how close you are to meeting your financial goals and then "bookmark" the website to apply for retirement benefits whenever you are ready.

Learn more about Social Security by visiting our website at www.socialsecurity. gov. Or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

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