What Documents Will You Need When You Apply?
We may need to see certain documents in order to pay benefits and help us decide how much your benefits should be. The documents you'll need will depend on the circumstances of your claim. The documents we may ask for are:
- your Social Security card (or a record of your number);
- your original birth certificate or other proof of birth (You may also submit a copy of your birth certificate certified by the issuing agency);
- proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the U.S. (more info);
- a copy of your U.S. military service paper(s) (e.g., DD-214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) if you had military service before 1968; and
- a copy of your W-2 form(s) and/or self-employment tax return for last year.
We will return all documents and photocopies unless specifically told otherwise.
What If You Don't Have All Of The Documents?
Even if you don't have all the documents you need, don't delay signing up for Social Security. You can submit any documents you do have. You can provide the missing documents later or we may be able to help you get them.
In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can't verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.
If you delay signing up, you could lose some benefits you may be due.
Go to the next step.