The earliest age at which you can receive Social Security Retirement Benfits is 62. You can start receiving Medicare Benefits at age 65. Within 4 months of the date you wish to start receiving benefits you should contact Social Security. The application process will require you to answer certain questions and provide some documents. If you have difficulty obtaining all the documents, Social Security will assist you in getting them.

The documents required to prove your eligibility for retirement benefits include:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Naturalization papers;
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s);
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year

When you apply for retirement benefits, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Your name, gender and social security number;
  • Your name at birth (if different);
  • Your date of birth and place of birth (State or foreign country);
  • Whether a public or religious record was made of your birth before age 5;
  • Your citizenship status;
  • Whether you or anyone else has ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf * Whether you have used any other Social Security number;
  • Whether you became unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time within the past 14
  • Whether you were ever in the active military service before 1968 and, if so, the dates of service and whether you have ever been eligible to receive a monthly benefit from a military or Federal civilian agency;
  • Whether you or your spouse have ever worked for the railroad industry;
  • Whether you have earned social security credits under another country’s social security system;
  • Whether you qualified for or expect to receive a pension or annuity based on your employment with the Federal government of the United States or one of its States or local subdivisions;
  • Whether you are currently married and, if so, your spouse’s name, date of birth (or age) and social security number (if known).
  • The names, dates of birth (or age) and social security numbers (if known) of any former spouses;
  • The dates and places of each of your marriages and, for marriages that have ended, how and when they ended;
  • The names of any unmarried children under 18, 18 -19 and in secondary school or disabled before age 22;
  • The name(s) of your employer(s) and/or information about your self-employment and the amount of your earnings for this year, last year and next year;
  • Whether you had earnings in all years since 1978;
  • Whether Social Security may contact your employers for wage information;
  • Whether you have any unsatisfied felony warrants for your arrest or unsatisfied Federal or State warrants for your arrest for any violations of the conditions of your parole or probation;
  • The month you want your benefits to begin; and
  • If you are within 3 months of age 65, whether you want to enroll in Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B of Medicare)

You will also be asked to provide your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit of your monthly retirement benefit.

Direct Deposit is the preferred method for getting your monthly benefit to you. Retirement benefits are automatically deposited to your account of the 3rd of every month and you will not have to worry about your check being stolen or lost in the mail.