Senior Series: Part 3, Online Social Security Benefits

By Lyndsey Kleven

There are many age-appropriate searches seniors are conducting online such as leisure travel pursuits, personal health-care issues, and dealing with financial concerns. One resource seniors may be less familiar with is accessing their Social Security and Medicare benefits online.

For starters, turning to the Internet to access Social Security information saves a lot of time and money. The Social Security online retirement application can be easily completed, in as little as 15 minutes. Using the online application allows it to be done from the comfort of any home or office, and can be done at any time that is convenient for the applicant.

Applying for retirement is not the only feature available online. Numerous other tasks can be done through the Social Security website beyond just the application process. Some of the top services performed through the Social Security website are:

  • Getting a replacement card
  • Applying for retirement benefits
  • Applying for disability benefits
  • Apply for Medicare
  • Apply for SSI, survivor or family benefits
  • Checking an application status
  • Getting extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs

Another great tool for people to use on the website is the Social Security’s new retirement estimator. This tool gives the public the opportunity to run accurate, personalized scenarios for Social Security retirement benefits in a user-friendly way, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA) website. The retirement estimator was rated with a score of 90, highest in its survey of Best Online Services. It was also ranked among the government’s top performers, and equal to the highest caliber private sectors, along with Amazon and Google.

Using the website can be a huge time saver in many aspects. Accessing the information online makes there no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a representative. Not only does this eliminate waiting time at the office, but also cuts out driving time and gas mileage.

According to Robert Fenn, Social Security public affairs specialist, “An individual could possibly travel an hour away (to reach an office), and complete their request in less time it took to make the trip! Or an individual could utilize the SSA online services in a matter of minutes, as opposed to traveling for two hours (both ways).”

As retiring baby boomers choose high-tech information and service options, the SSA expects further growth in the number of people who will take advantage of its Internet services in the future.

For more information on accessing Social Security online, visit

To view the retirement estimator, visit

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