Social Security Q&A: What Can I Do at the Social Security Website?

Social Security Q&A: What Can I Do at the Social Security Website?

Question: What can I do at

Answer: There are many things you can do on Social Security’s website.

You can conduct most of your Social Security business online at You can get an estimate of future benefits, find out if you qualify for benefits now and even apply for benefits.

You can complete a number of other tasks online, too. You can estimate your retirement benefit using the Retirement Estimator, which allows you to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefit based on different retirement ages and scenarios. You can even open your own “my Social Security account” to plan for and manage your benefits at

Q: How do I appeal a decision on my application for disability benefits?

A: When Social Security makes a decision on your application, it will send you a letter explaining its decision. If you don’t agree with the decision, you can ask for another look at your case, or appeal it. You must appeal within 60 days from the date you get the decision letter. You can:

■ File a disability appeal online with our new, improved process and electronically provide documents to support your request, even if you live outside of the United States; or

■ Visit your local Social Security office.

For more information, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about Social Security’s disability programs, visit

Q: How do I know if I meet the eligibility requirements to get Social Security disability benefits?

A: To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked long enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually 10 years). You must also have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s strict definition of disability. Social Security considers an adult disabled under the rules if he or she has a medical condition, or combination of medical conditions, that are expected to last for at least one year or result in death, and that prevent the performance of any type of work.

If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use outher online application at

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 or visit

Author: Tribune News Service

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