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Filing for Social Security: Online or In Person?

Incorrect decisions when filing for social security can cost you thousands of dollars.  Social security can be a complicated.  Making correct choices is crucial to your financial future.  A big question is how to apply.  Should you apply online or set an appointment to go in person.  Below are three questions to help you decide.


  • How complicated is your situation?  If you’ve been single or married to the same person all your life the situation may not be complicated.  If that’s the case, you may enjoy the convenience of online.  On the other hand, if you’ve been divorced, complications could arise because of the potential for higher benefits based on your former spouse’s earnings.  If you feel there’s any hint of complication, it makes good sense to go in person.  By setting an appointment, you can meet with a rep that can run the best scenario for you.  Then, if any questions come up he or she will be there to ask.


  • How good are you with technology?  What if you get confused by the technology of filing online?  What if you click the wrong button and not realize it?  People who are unsure of their technology skills should go in person.  There’s too much at stake.


  • How important is it to you to be able to ask questions?  Applying online will limit your interaction.  That’s good from a time perspective but bad from making sure you make the correct decision.  If having the option to ask questions is important to you, in person is the way to go. 


Making a good social security decision is important.  I’m a firm believer that most people should set up an appointment.  That way, they can make sure their decision is sound.  By asking these questions, you can help decide what option is best for you.



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Comment   |  5 years, 7 months ago from Atlanta, GA