Q: How long does it take to complete the online application for retirement benefits?
Answer: It can take as little as 15 minutes to complete the online application. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. To retire online, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.
Q: My husband doesn’t have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can he qualify on my record?
Answer: A spouse receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. You can learn more by reading our online publication, Retirement Benefits, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.