Social Security claims are managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Categories for filing an approved claim fall into five subsets. One of the largest organizations that receives and processes Social Security claims is Medicare. Additionally, and contrary to what many Americans believe, the filing of Social Security claims is not limited to older citizens.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program that provides services primarily for American citizens who are at least 65 years old. However, citizens who have acute healthcare conditions like kidney failure or Lou Gehrig's disease can receive Medicare assistance and be eligible to file claims to help pay for medical bills even if they are younger than 65. Claims for Medicare support are categorized into four components: hospital, prescription, medical and Medicare Advantage. After you complete the SSA benefit claims eligibility screening, you can file hospital insurance claims. Hospital claims pay a portion of your inpatient hospital expenses. They also help pay for expenses derived from your stay at a nursing facility, home healthcare or hospice directly related to a recent hospital stay. Other areas covered under SSA Medicare hospital claims are medical insurance and approved prescription drug costs. Medicare claim forms you may need to file are SSA-671 "Railroad Employment Questionnaire," SSA-1020 "Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs" and SSA-754 "Statement of Marital Relationship." For this claim and all others, SSA will let you know exactly which forms you need to complete after you finish your online SSA benefits eligibility screening.
Social Security Disability
SSA determines your eligibility to claim disability benefits based on your age at the onset of the disability and the number of years that you have worked and had Social Security taxes deducted from your regular paycheck. State disability agencies determine individual eligibility to claim the benefits. The amount of money that you received over your working career determines the total amount of money that you are eligible to claim. If your claim is approved your disability benefits checks will be paid starting on the sixth month after you filed your claim. For example, if you filed your disability claim on June 20, you will receive your first payment the following January. Claim forms you may need to complete are SSA-795 "Statement of Claimant or Other Persons" and SSA-4421 "BK Disability Report-Appeal."
Social Security Retirement
Complete the "Social Security Benefit Retirement" application online to submit your record for review. You can also contact the nearest SSA office or call (800) 772-1213 to file a claim. Approved claim payments are made via direct deposit to your bank account. If you don't have a bank account, you will be asked to apply for a Direct Express card so that SSA can deposit your claim payments directly to you through this account. You can claim retirement benefits when you reach 62 years of age. However, the later you file a claim, the more credits you earn in the program which allows you to receive a larger percentage of your lifetime Social Security Retirement earnings. For example, people who file a claim at 70 years of age typically receive 32 percent more per month than people who file a claim at 62 years of age. Depending on your specific individual circumstances, you might have to complete claim forms such as SSA-369 "Work History Report" and SSA-795 "Statement of Claimant or Other Persons" before SSA determines your eligibility.
Special Veterans Benefits
If you turned 65 years old on or before December 14, 1999, you may be eligible to claim special veterans benefits. The benefits are paid to U.S. military veterans who served September 16, 1940, through July 24, 1947. Filipino veterans who served in the Philippines military from July 26, 1941, through December 30, 1946, may also be eligible to claim the benefits. The amount that you can claim for the benefit must be lower than 75 percent of the total amount of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits claim amount. If you reside within the United States and meet the age and military service requirements, to file a benefits claim, contact SSA at (800) 772-1213. If you reside in the Philippines, contact SSA Division of the Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Manilla, 1131 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita 0930 Manila. To be eligible to claim special veterans benefits, you will have to complete military questionnaires such as the SSA-2512 "Pre-1957 Military Service Federal Benefit Questionnaire" and SSA-2032 "BK Request for Waiver of Special Veterans Benefits."
You can claim Social Security Survivor benefits if you are a single or unmarried child age 18 years or younger and your parent was currently working at the time of his death. In fact, SSA is the number one federal financial provider to children of working parents who die. Widows and widowers can also claim benefits after they reach 65 years of age. The total amount of the claim you will receive depends on the lifetime earnings of the deceased parent or spouse. Claim forms you might be required to complete before your benefits eligibility is determined are SSA-1 "Marriage Certification" and SSA-11 "Request to be Selected as Payee."
Supplemental Security Income
To be eligible to claim Social Security SSI benefits you must be at least 65 years old, blind or disabled. Your income must also meet federal guidelines. Typically your income must be considerably low and the value of your property and other personal items like bank accounts, stocks and bonds shall not exceed $3,000. Claim forms you might be asked to complete are SSA-25 "Certificate of Election for Reduced Spouses Benefits" and SSA-150 "Modified Benefits Formula Questionnaire." For more information on claiming SSI and other Social Security benefits, you can call (800) 772-1213.