Are you thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits? Before getting started, you first need to learn if you’re eligible (i.e. “insured”). The best place to check is your most recent Social Security earnings statement and the only place to get it is online at Social Security’s Web site.
How to Access Your Social Security Statement Online
It used to be that every worker received an earnings statement from Social Security in the mail. Not anymore. To save budget dollars, Social Security stopped sending out paper statements last year. At the time, there was no way to access your statement online. Now there is, and it’s easy. Here are the steps:
- Go to the Social Security Web site: www.ssa.gov
- Click “Get your Social Security Statement online” which is listed under the “Top Services” menu on the home page.
- Answer a few security questions to verify your identity.
- Follow SSA’s simple instructions to set up a secure “My Social Security Account.”
That’s it. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Once you’re done setting up your account, you’ll have your own user name and password to access your statement any time. You can even save your statement to your own computer and print it out if you want a hard copy.
What Your Social Security Statement Tells You
Your Social Security earnings statement looks exactly like the one you used to get in the mail. It will tell you if you’ve earned enough work credits to be eligible for disability benefits. It will also tell you how much your benefit is likely to be, which is calculated from your work history.
In a recent press release, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security said, “Our new online Social Security Statement is simple, easy-to-use and provides people with estimates they can use to plan for their retirement. The online Statement also provides estimates for disability and survivors benefits, making the Statement an important financial planning tool. People should get in the habit of checking their online Statement each year, around their birthday, for example.”
Need Help Setting Up Your Online Account?
If you go online and run into problems setting up your account, you still have the option of going to your local Social Security office for help. If this happens, be sure to bring identification with you. Someone there can walk you through the account set up process.
Since online access went live on May 1, 2012, more than 130,000 people have already set up their secure Social Security accounts to get their earnings statements.
Are You Insured for Disability Benefits?
If you are considering applying for disability benefits, through a quick screening process a Freedom Disability eligibility consultant can help you find out if you are insured for benefits.
With your earnings statement handy, the screening process can move along rather quickly. Go to www.ssa.gov and set up your secure Social Security account today.