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Social Security and how it works

Social Security provides a source of income when you retire or if you cannot work due to a disability. Learn how to replace your Social Security card, apply for benefits, and more.

Get a Social Security number or card

You will need a Social Security number to:

  • Apply for a job
  • Open a bank account
  • Pay taxes
  • Get retirement or disability benefits

Find out how to apply for a Social Security number or replace your Social Security card.

Learn about the types of Social Security benefits and how to apply

There are four main types of Social Security benefits. Learn about each, and find out if you qualify and how to apply:

When are Social Security benefits paid?

The day you will get your Social Security retirement benefits each month is based on your birthdate. Find out when you will get paid.

If your Social Security payment is more than 3 days late, contact the Social Security Administration.

How to get help with your Social Security benefits

In many cases, you can manage your Social Security benefits online by creating a free “my Social Security” account. You will be able to:

  • Check on your Social Security benefit application status
  • Update your name, address, and other information 
  • Set up or update your direct deposit information to receive benefits
  • Find tax documents to report income from Social Security on your tax return
  • Get a benefit verification letter to show what benefits you receive

If you have specific questions about your Social Security benefits, you can:

LAST UPDATED: December 8, 2023


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