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Fact Sheet


Immediate Claims Taking

Customers Have a Choice When Applying for Benefits

Social Security’s customers have historically been able to apply for benefits immediately by visiting one of the 1300 community based offices throughout the United States. Now, individuals applying for Retirement Benefits or Widow(er)’s Benefits can choose to immediately apply for benefits by telephone when they have the documentation that Social Security needs.

What is Needed to Qualify for Immediate Telephone Claims Taking?

Immediate claims can be taken when callers applying for benefits have in their possession all of the documents that Social Security needs to process their applications.

  • Retirement Benefits Required Documentation

    • Primary proof of age (a birth certificate or religious record recorded before age 5);
    • The most recent W-2 form(s) and/or tax returns; and
    • Specific information about the bank account where the Social Security Retirement Benefits will be direct deposited to.

  • Survivor Benefits Required Documentation

    • Deceased worker’s social security number;
    • Proof of marriage (marriage certificate);
    • Death certificate;
    • Surviving spouse’s primary proof of age;
    • Divorce papers if applicable; and
    • Specific information about the bank account where the Social Security Survivor Benefits will be direct deposited to.

Telephone Interviews

  • Members of the public can reach the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.
  • Social Security representatives are available from 7a.m. to 7p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • SSA will continue to offer individuals the option of conducting business with SSA by appointment.

November 2001

SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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