If you are planning to retire and not sure how to apply for social security early retirement, you should learn all the facts. First of all, in order to apply for social security early retirement, you must be at least 62. Realize that early retirement means a decrease in monthly benefit rates in comparison to retiring at 65.
- Locate and keep all of your documentation in a safe area from which you could gather them in a short time frame. You need the following items when applying for social security early retirement: social security card, birth certificate, the previous year's tax return with W-2s, paperwork documenting military discharge, and a statement from your bank account. Your checkbook is another necessary item, as you are required to furnish a bank routing number to SSA.
- File an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to begin the process to apply for social security early retirement, you must file this application. The SSA website will allow for electronic filing. Fill in all the information you know. You should file this application roughly three months prior to the date you intend to retire. In doing so, it will help prevent delay of payment starting dates. Don't worry if you are unsure about some of these questions. A case worker will be assigned to your case, and they will help you complete any omissions.
- Keep your scheduled appointments. The SSA will schedule an appointment time and date to meet with you. The case worker assigned to you will discuss the process of how to apply for social security early retirement with you. Bring all the documentation you gathered with you to your appointment. Remember that the SSA does not accept any form of photocopies, and you must bring all original documents. Once your application has been reviewed, your case worker will then schedule another appointment to discuss whether you are approved or denied benefits. If approved, your case worker will inform you of when your benefits will start and how much to expect. If you are denied, you have the legal right to appeal their decision. It is in your best interests to obtain legal counsel if you are denied. After all the hearing is a legal proceeding, and should not be taken lightly.