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Documents to Collect Before You Apply for Social Security

By: Sahil Luthra

American Street

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Social Security Documentation

You should know that if you want to access your Social Security Benefits certain document will be needed, these documents need to be carefully collected.

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Role Play of Documentation

Documents play a vital role when in terms to apply for Social Security Benefits without any obstacle, need to provide the information requested when filling out a Social Security application.

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Birth Certificate As Age Proof

The SSA will ask a birth certificate original or certified copy as age proof, in the case of missing it you should contact records office in the state to request a copy of your birth certificate.

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Born In Abroad

If you who were born abroad to U.S parents they surely registered your birth at the U.S. embassy in country where they lived, you can ask for a copy of  report of birth abroad from the authority.

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Proof of U.S. Citizenship

To ensure your eligibility for social security benefits, SSA will want to ensure you are a U.S. citizen, if you have a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport original or certified copy will be accepted only.

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Social Security card

To get SS benefits you need to provide your SSN, in case of missing, create a My Social Security account at, then you might be allowed to request a replacement Social Security card online.

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Identification Card

A U.S. driver's license, a state-issued non-driver identification card or a U.S. passport can be used for your identity verification.

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Employment Records

You should have a copy of your W-2 forms from last year while applying, if you are self-employed, the SSA requires a copy of your self-employment tax return from last year.

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Records For Spousal Benefit

To apply for Social Security Spousal Benefit need to show proof of marriage like a photo ID, your birth certificate and your marriage license.

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Military Service Documentation

The SSA will ask you to provide a copy of your U.S. military service papers like certificate of release or discharge from active duty, if you served in the military before 1968.

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When Document Is Missing

If any of your document is missing then also you can continue this application process, Social Security representatives may be able to help you get them or you can supply them later.

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