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Using the Social Security Website to Get Answers

Similar to any government website,, the official site of the Social Security Administration, is full of helpful information. Finding what you need in the long list of publications, forms, and other web resources, however, is not always easy. Here is a guide to help you navigate the site based on some of the most common questions people have.

The links included in each answer will take you to the applicable pages and forms on the Social Security website.

Key Takeaways

  • If you’ve never had a Social Security card, you must apply for one in person at your Social Security office.
  • You may apply online for a replacement card under certain circumstances.
  • You need 40 credits to be eligible for full retirement benefits, and you can earn no more than four credits per year, with one credit earned for each $1,360 you make in a year as of 2019.

How Do I Apply?

Where is my nearest Social Security office?

Retirement Benefits

How do I apply for retirement benefits?

Can I work and receive benefits at the same time?

How can I calculate my monthly benefits?

What is a credit?

If I get a pension, will that affect my benefits?

Are my spouse and kids eligible to receive my benefits?

Disability Benefits

Where can I learn more about disability benefits?

Can I go back to work and still collect disability benefits?

If I reach retirement age, will I receive disability and retirement benefits?

What is a compassionate allowance?

General Questions

What is SSI?

How do I change my direct deposit information?

Can Social Security garnish my wages?

Do I have to pay taxes on my Social Security wages?

The Bottom Line

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