Social security benefits can play a vital role in planning your family’s future.  Most of us are entitled to some type of benefit, but the nature of the benefit(s) and the qualifications thereof are subject to change.  Thus, it is important to obtain timely information every few years on what benefits may be due.

It is also important to remember, you must apply for social security benefits, they are not paid automatically.  Also, benefits must be applied for within a specific time frame.  To facilitate the filing of a claim for your social security benefits, you will need most or all of the following documents:

  • Death Certificate
  • Birth Certificate of Deceased
  • Social Security Card of Deceased
  • Marriage Certificate (copy)
  • Birth Certificate of Applicant
  • Birth Certificate of Minor Children
  • Disability Proof for Children over 18
  • Receipted Funeral Bill

In addition to various retirement and support payment that you may be eligible for while alive, there are certain lump sum available benefits for which your spouse may qualify.  Also, the widow/widower, dependent children or dependent parents may be eligible to receive benefits.

You can contact your local Social Security Office for current information on benefits and claims procedures, or call the national toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, or online at:

You may also write to your local office, or to the national Social Security Office at:

Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
Windsor Park Building
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD  21235

This site offers language assistance including Arabic, Spanish and Asian dialects.  Information and applications are also available online at the webpage of the US Social Security Administration at