As exciting as it can be to approach retirement, there may be a lot of documentation required before you can apply for benefits. Social security enrollment is one of the perks of all those years of hard work. When it comes to enrolling for social security, you have several options. You can call your local Jefferson County social security office, or you can complete the process online. To help make the retirement process smoother, we will go over both options for enrolling for social security if you live in the Alabama area.
How to Complete Social Security Enrollment by Phone in Jefferson County
As of March 17, 2020, all social security offices are closed for walk-in service until further notice. COVID-19 updates are being posted regularly, so you can either call or go online to find out the current status of your local office.
You can enroll for benefits over the phone by calling your local social security office. For your reference, here are the three social security office locations in Jefferson County:
- 1972 Gadsden Hwy., Birmingham, AL
- 1200 Rev Abraham Woods Jr Blvd, 1st floor, Birmingham, AL
- 5475 Academy Way, Bessemer, AL
While social security offices are closed for walk-in service, some exceptions are being made for “dire need” situations. If you urgently need social security benefits to cover your food, housing, or medical expenses and are unable to enroll online, call your local office to see if you may qualify for an in-person appointment.
How to Complete Social Security Enrollment Online in Alabama
During the pandemic, people are being encouraged to use the Social Security Administration website to apply for social security retirement benefits. Their retirement benefits page has helpful information to make enrolling for social security as straightforward as possible. Before you apply, there is some basic information you should know:
- You can begin receiving social security benefits anytime between age 62 and 70.
- You should apply for benefits four months before you wish to start receiving checks.
- Spouses or family members may be able to collect benefits on your record or vice versa.
- If you are no more than three months from turning 65, you can apply for social security and Medicare benefits using the same online application.
When you are ready to apply for social security benefits, you will need to gather the following:
- Your original birth certificate or another original document that proves your age
- A copy of your W2 tax forms or self-employment tax returns from the previous year, along with employer names and dates for the previous two years (or self-employment income and type of business)
- Your bank information for direct deposit set up
- A copy of your U.S. military services papers if you served before 1968, along with U.S. military service dates for the previous two years
- Information about any family members that may be eligible to receive benefits on your record
- Proof of U.S. citizenship if you were not born in the U.S.
Once you have the necessary documents compiled, the Social Security Administration website’s directions will walk you through registration.
SeniorSmart Can Help You Get the Social Security Benefits You Need
With social security offices being closed to traditional walk-in services, the social security enrollment process has moved to the phone and online applications. If you are planning to retire in Jefferson County, SeniorSmart can help you prepare for retirement living. Our members enjoy advice from experienced retirement planners through our concierge services so they can focus on enjoying their golden years. Find out more about the benefits of SeniorSmart membership by reaching out to us online or calling 205.460.1124.