Are you applying for Social Security benefits soon? If so, preparing the correct documents will allow the SSA to process your documents faster.
Has your application been delayed or even rejected? That could have happened if there is an issue with the documents and proof you provided. One of the most common reasons an application is rejected by the SSA is because the documents provided are insufficient or inaccurate.
Avoid delays and frustration by confirming you have the correct documents and you submit them properly. Read on to learn more.
Quick Navigation Article Links
- What Documents Do I Need To Provide
- What Kind Of Documents Can I Submit For Proof Of Identity, Age, And Citizenship
- Confirm Your Documents Are Correct
- How Do I Submit My Documents
- What If I Submitted The Wrong Documents
What Documents Will I Need To Provide
When collecting the documents you will need to apply for your benefits to confirm they are correct. The SSA will accept photocopies for certain documents but other documents may need to be original.
Generally, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Your Social Security card or a record of your SSN
- Your original birth certificate, a certified copy from the issuing agency, or another kind of proof of your age. Photocopies or notarized copies are NOT accepted.
- If you’re not U.S.-born you will need to have proof of lawful alien status or U.S. citizenship. Expired documents, notarized copies, or photocopies are not accepted.
- If you served in the military before 1968, you need to provide a copy of your U. S. military service paper(s). You can submit a photocopy of this document.
- Self-employment tax return for the previous year and/or a copy of your W-2 form (s). You can submit a photocopy of this document as well.
- Any workers compensation claims you may have filed, date of injury, claim number, proof of receiving payments.
For Medicare and Disability applications you will need to provide detailed medical information. To learn more about the information required when applying for Medicare read the article How To Apply For Medicare [Easy Step-By-Step].
Applying for disability benefits requires an extensive list of documents and information from your doctor. Learn more about applying for disability benefits by reading the article How To Apply For Social Security Disability [Step-By-Step Process].
What Kind Of Documents Can I Submit For Proof Of Identity, Age, And Citizenship
You could submit different kinds of documents to prove your age, citizenship, and birth date. Read the list below to learn more.
Proof of Age:
- A religious record that was created before the age of five that shows your age and/or date of birth
- The U.S. hospitalization record of your birth (must have been created at the time of your birth)
- Final Adoption Decree that shows birth information from the original birth certificate
Proof Of Identity:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. driver’s license
- U.S. State-issued non-driver identity card
Proof Of Citizenship
- U.S. birth certificate
- U.S. passport
- Consular Report Of Birth
- Certificate Of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
Proof Of Immigration Status
- Current unexpired document from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showing your status (Form I-551, I-94, or I-766)
- If you are an exchange visitor or international student you may also need to provide Form I-20, DS-2019, or a letter from your school or employer authorizing employment or study.
It is important to provide all of the correct documents when you go to apply for your first Social Security card. If you fail to provide the correct information you will not be issued a Social Security card.
Confirm Your Documents Are Correct
To confirm you have the correct documents cross-reference with a list of required documents.
Find an article with information on how to apply for a specific benefit below. Once you click the link, scroll down to the heading which describes the documents you will need.
Click here to access a list of required documents to apply for retirement benefits.
Click here to find the list of documents you will need when applying for Medicare.
Click this link to see a list of required documents to apply for food stamps.
Click here to find the documents you will need to apply for disability.
Click here to find a list of required documents when applying for death benefits.
How Do I Submit My Documents
Depending on the benefit you are applying for you can submit documents and information online, by mail, or in person. To confirm the method you should use to submit your documents to the SSA contact your local SSA office.
You can locate the closest SSA office by clicking this link.
Ask the agent to confirm the documents you need to provide and how you should provide them.
What If I Submitted The Wrong Document
If you realize you submitted the wrong documents you should contact the SSA office closest to you and let them know. They can walk you through resubmitting the correct documents.
Your application may be delayed so the sooner you correct the error the better.
If your application is rejected and the reason is stated as incorrect or insufficient documents you can appeal the decision and provide the correct documents.
Read the article How To Appeal An SSA Decision And Check The Status Of An Appeal.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading.