Applying for social security can be a daunting task. Lasky Cooper Law in Savannah, GA, is here with a helpful resource with all the information you need to ease this process along. From the types of benefits to all the information and documentation that will be expected from you in the application process. If you are curious about applying for social security benefits but don’t know where to start, read on to learn more!


The Five Types of Social Security Benefits & Everything You Need to Apply


Your entire working life, you have paid taxes into social security. That money does not go into a personal account for you. Instead, that money is paid to those currently receiving benefits. When you reach age 62, you are eligible to apply for retirement. When your application is approved, social security will grant you a percentage of your pre-retirement income based on your highest 35 years of earnings.

What To Have When You Apply

Information Needed

  • Dates of current and previous marriages, and where you were married.
  • U.S. military service dates and branches.
  • Employer names and dates for the past two years.
  • Self-employment income and type of business.
  • Bank information to set up your direct deposit.
  • Information on family members who may be eligible to receive benefits on your record.

Documentation Needed

  • Your original birth certificate or other proof of your age. This must be the original document or a certified copy from the issuing agency.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship if you were not born in the U.S. and have not submitted proof for an earlier Medicare or Social Security claim.
  • A copy of your W-2 tax form(s) and/or self-employment tax return from last year. A photocopy is acceptable.
  • A copy of your U.S. military service papers if you served before 1968. A photocopy is acceptable.

Way’s to Apply


Disability benefits are given to families whose income and resources are hindered by a disability, either permanent or temporary, with one year without the ability to work being the minimum standards. To be eligible, your medical condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of a disability. For more information on your eligibility for these benefits, the SSA website has extensive details and explanations.

Information About You to Have Ready

  • Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
  • The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death (if appropriate).
  • Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
  • Your bank or other financial institution’s Routing Transit Number and the account number.

Information About Your Medical Condition to Have Ready

  • Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
  • Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
    • Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
    • Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them.
    • Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.

Information About Your Work to Have Ready

  • The amount of money earned last year and this year.
  • The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year.
    The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service you had before 1968.
  • A list of the jobs (up to 5) that you had in the 15 years before you became unable to work and the dates you worked at those jobs.
  • Information about any workers’ compensation, black lung, and/or similar benefits you filed or intend to file for. These benefits can:
    • Be temporary or permanent.
    • Include annuities and lump sum payments that you received in the past.
    • Be paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier, private agencies, or Federal, State, or other government or public agencies.
    • Be referred to as
      • Workers’ Compensation.
      • Black Lung Benefits.
      • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation.
      • Civil Service (Disability) Retirement.
      • Federal Employees’ Retirement.
      • Federal Employees’ Compensation.
      • State or local government disability insurance benefits.
      • Disability benefits from the military (This includes military retirement pensions based on disability but not Veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits).

Documentation to Have Ready

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States.
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968.
    W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
  • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results.
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received.

Way’s to Apply


Survivors benefits are given to families who have experienced the loss of a primary household earner. In most cases, the funeral home manager will report the death to the SSA after receiving the deceased’s social security number from the family.

Survivors benefits cannot be applied for, nor can a death be reported online

If you need to report a death, call 1-800-772-1213 , and a social security representative will help you through the process.

Similarly to reports, you cannot apply for survivors benefits online. If you would like to apply for these benefits, call 1-800-772-1213. However, the SSA claims that in most cases, you will not need to apply for these benefits; instead, they are applied retroactively upon the report of death.

For more information about survivors’ benefits, and how it may help your family, click here!


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are given to those who have a disability or blindness and fall below certain income and resource metrics set by the SSA. You are also eligible for these benefits if you are age 65 or older and you meet those same financial standards.

When applying for SSI, be prepared with bank statements, proof of employment or unemployment when applicable, and other financial records that will help the person reviewing your application to better understand your specific position.

Way’s to Apply

SSI benefits are broken up into age brackets. To learn more about how to apply for your age group, follow the links below.

Other SSA Resources

SSI Comprehensive Pamphlet

Receive the Benefits That You Are Entitled to

If you have had trouble understanding the social security application process, we hope that this information has made things a little easier for you. If you are eligible for social security benefits, make sure to apply with all the information and documentation gathered that you know will be required of you. The SSA online application has also made applying easier than ever before. With these resources, you can apply for social security benefits with confidence.

If you are in the Savannah, GA area and looking for an expert team of attorneys to handle your case, contact the office of Lasky Cooper Law today!

Information adapted from the Social Security Administration website.