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Frequently Asked Questions

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You can apply for retirement benefits up to 4 months before you want to start receiving your benefits. Even if you are not ready to retire, you still should sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday.

The easiest and most convenient way to apply for retirement benefits is by using our online application. You will need to create or log in to your personal my Social Security account. If we are not able to process your request, you will receive specific information on how to contact us by phone or schedule an appointment.

You can also apply by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time or visiting your local Social Security office. (Call first to make an appointment.)

If you live outside of the United States, visit the Social Security Office of Earnings & International Operations page to find the office that serves your country of residence.

For more information, go to Apply for Retirement Benefits.

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