How to Apply for Social Security by Phone

In addition to applying for Social Security benefits by mail, you may also do it by telephone. The procedure is direct and easy to complete. You can file your application using this method no matter where you are located. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a federal agency and Social Security Benefits are a federal program. That means the application procedures are the same nationally. Applying for Social Security may seem challenging. But, if you gather the necessary materials and information beforehand, with a little bit of planning, you can easily and efficiently file your claim.

There are several different ways you can submit your Social Security application including by mail, in person and online. However, one of the most convenient ways is to apply by phone. When you call the Social Security Agency’s toll-free number, you will be connected with a helpful representative who will ask you some questions and get you started in the benefits program all without needing to visit the office.

Information You Need to Apply for Social Security Over the Phone

Prior to making the call, you will want to be prepared to answer specific questions about your eligibility. The representative you speak with will need to ask you questions regarding :

  • Personal information. Social Security office case workers will need to know your name, Social Security Number (SSN), where you were born and your native language.
  • Work history. In order to submit your application, you will need to answer questions regarding how long you worked and paid Social Security taxes. You also must report if you had any recent work-related injuries.
  • Military service. If you served in the military, you need to inform your agent at the time you apply for benefits.
  • Your family. You will need to report information relating to your children, as well as your current or past marriages.
  • Income. You cannot file your Social Security application unless you report your earnings.

Documents You May Need to Submit to the Social Security Office

Regardless of how you choose to apply for Social Security, there are certain documents you will need to submit along with your application. These include:

  • Your Social Security card or your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Tax documents from the previous year, such as a W-2, 1099, and/or, K1 forms
  • Proof that you are a U.S. citizen or a lawfully-present immigrant.
  • Your birth certificate or equivalent documentation.
  • Military discharge papers, if you served before 1968.

If you don’t have these, you may still be able to apply for SSA benefits. However, you must contact your Social Security office and speak with a program official. He or she should be able to help you find and/or obtain the supporting documents you need to complete your application.

What number do I call to apply for Social Security by phone?

If you want to apply for Social Security benefits by phone, call the program’s toll-free number 1-800-772-1213. If you are hearing impaired and need teletype (TTY) services, the phone number to apply for Social Security benefits is 1-800-325-0778.