5 Steps Toward Your Financial Security

Step 1
Get to know your Social Security

We’re more than retirement

Social Security is with you throughout your life — supporting friends and family alike. We’re there from day one, when your parent applied for your Social Security number at the hospital. We provide financial security to many children and adults before they reach retirement, including the chronically ill, children of deceased parents, and wounded warriors.

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Step 2
Verify your earnings

Your work history directly impacts your future benefits

Your benefits are calculated using your employment records. Your employer reports your earnings to Social Security. It’s important that you use your personal my Social Security account to check these records yearly to ensure that your earnings are recorded accurately.

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When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to a maximum of four credits for each year. Credits are based on your total wages and self-employment income during the year. In the year 2017, you must earn $1,300 in covered earnings to get one Social Security or Medicare work credit and $5,200 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

Step 3
Estimate your benefits

Retirement planning starts with us

Social Security is part of a strong retirement plan. We’ll be here when you need us, but you need to take steps to ensure you have enough other retirement income for a comfortable quality of life. Want to know your retirement age, life expectancy, or future benefits? We have several different calculators that can give you an estimate to fit your situation.

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Pensions, savings, and Social Security combine to ensure a comfortable retirement. 48% of workers have no private pension and 25% have no savings specifically for retirement. On average, Social Security replaces 40% of pre-retirement income.

Step 4
Apply for benefits

No need to visit an office

Our secure website allows you to apply for benefits from the comfort of your home or preferred location. From retirement to disability to Medicare benefits, we have you and your loved ones covered.

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You can apply online for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits.

Step 5
Manage your benefits

Control your benefits when you need to

my Social Security puts the control of your benefits at your fingertips. On the go or at home, you can access your personal my Social Security account according to your schedule. There’s no need to visit a field office to take care of most of your business with Social Security.

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With a my Social Security account you can: Check appeal or application status, Get a benefit verification letter, Change your phone number or address, Start or change your direct deposit, Get a replacement 1099 or 1042S tax form, or In many states request a replacement card.