Dear Rusty,

For this reason, I have been seriously considering applying for Social Security as soon as I’m able. I remember reading something that said I should begin the “paperwork” three months ahead of time. I’d like to begin that process, but don’t know where to begin. Could you guide me to the right place?

This month, I will be 62 1/2 years old. I was laid off two years ago and have not had a steady income since (though I still have bills to pay). I also did not qualify for unemployment. Therefore, what little I had for “retirement” is now gone. 

Ready to Claim Benefits 

Dear Ready to Claim,

Sorry to hear of your loss of employment and your current financial struggle, but the Social Security benefits you earned from a lifetime of working are there for you. Here’s what you need to know about applying for Social Security:  

Since you are already 62 years of age, you can apply for your Social Security at any time now. The process is fairly simple, especially if you apply online, which you can do at Just click on the “Retirement” icon and you’ll see a link to the online application. 

You simply fill out the application, save it if you need more time to work on it, and later when you’re done submit it online to Social Security. Before you do that, however, you’ll need to create your personal “my Social Security” online account, which is easy to do at

Once you have your online account set up, you can fill out and submit the online application. Of course, you can also apply via telephone by calling either the national Social Security service center at 1.800.772.1213 or your local Social Security office to make an appointment to apply, but applying online at is by far the most efficient way.  

Applying online for Social Security benefits is a reasonably easy process, and if you have even moderate computer skills you shouldn’t be intimidated by the thought. But if you are, simply call Social Security and request an appointment to apply. They will walk you through the application process. 

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website ( or email us at 

About AMAC The 2.4 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is a senior advocacy organization. AMAC Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing the membership in our nation’s capital and in local Congressional Districts throughout the country. The AMAC Foundation ( is the Association’s non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting and educating America’s Seniors.

Russell Gloor

Russell Gloor is a certified Social Security Advisor with the Association of Mature American Citizens.