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What you need to have when you apply for Social Security Retirement

Applying for social security retirement is easier when you are properly prepared. How should you prepare?

First of all, when you go to apply for Social Security retirement, be prepared for your application interview. What do I mean by this? Simply this. The retirement application process will be much smoother if you have a certified birth certificate. Additionally, if you are a permanent resident or naturalized citizen of the United States, you will need to provide a certified birth certificate from your birth country.

What do I mean by "certified birth record"? A certified birth record is a document with a raised seal or an official stamp. The birth record should be from the government agency that has jurisdiction over birth records for the area in which you were born. It is not advisable to bring the complimentary birth certificate that was given to your parents from your birth hospital. Generally, the hospital birth certificates are not acceptable to the Social Security Administration as proof of birth because they are easily altered.

Finally, do not bring in a copy of the certified birth record as the Social Security claims representative must see the actual certified birth record. If you do not have a birth record, the Social Security claims representative will give you a list of acceptable alternate evidence sources to establish your date of birth.

If you are a naturalized citizen of the United States, you will need to bring your naturalization papers to the interview. Additionally, if you are a legal alien resident of the United States you will need to bring in proof of your alien status. Your Social Security retirement application cannot be processed without this information. Proof of citizenship or legal alien status is essential to an award of Social Security benefits of any kind.

Once you have completed your interview, you may be requested to furnish additional evidence. If you do not supply the evidence within thirty days of the application date, your Social Security retirement claim may be denied. Therefore, it is very important to supply the evidence requested to complete your claim. And if you are having trouble getting the requested information, you should call your Social Security claims representative.

Generally, the claims representative will wait a little while longer for evidence, if the evidence has been requested. Of course, if you have the above information with you at the time of your interview, you will not have to worry about a denied Social Security retirement claim.

Therefore, if you are going to retire in the near future, you should obtain a certified proof of your birth (if you do not have a birth certificate, you should call a few months ahead of your retirement age to ascertain what alternate evidence may be used to prove your birth), and possibly proof of citizenship or legal alien status, so that your Social Security retirement application process will be a smooth one.

If you have any other questions about the Social Security retirement or disability application process, you should contact your local Social Security office or call the toll free Social Security number 1-800-772-1213.

Return to Social Security Retirement Questions.

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