How to Learn if You are Eligible for Social Security Benefits and Apply for Benefits


Through the Social Security Administration's website, you can complete an application to determine your eligibility for Social Security benefits. You can qualify at any age. Having a disability, responsibility for a disabled child or other qualifications may make you eligible for benefits. Follow a few straightforward steps to find out if you qualify.

  • Access the Social Security Administration’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) at ConnectionsGovBenefits (see Resources). You will need basic information about all spouses, dependents, income and any disabilities. After you complete the information, the website will reveal if you are eligible.

  • Complete an application for benefits if you get an affirmative answer. BEST, in itself, is not an application for Social Security benefits but only checks eligibility. The benefits application is at Social Security Apply tool (see Resources).

  • Expect to be asked for additional documentation upon completing the application. The Social Security Administration representative will request additional information and documentation to verify your eligibility.

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