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Maximizing Social Security Benefits: 4 Effective Strategies

Every year, the Social Security Administration handles a vast amount of responsibility, distributing over $1.4 trillion in benefits to over 70 million individuals. With over half a million people being served across 1,000 offices in the U.S., it’s clear that the agency faces substantial demands.

These are significant figures. If you’ve had to deal with Social Security in person, you’re likely familiar with the potential wait times. Despite being one of the busiest government agencies, it consistently faces underfunding. Moreover, there are persistent threats from Congressional Republicans to reduce benefits and increase the retirement age.

Nevertheless, by adhering to certain guidelines, you can effectively navigate the system to obtain the services you require. Here are some valuable tips to consider:

  • Utilize their website. In recent years, the agency has enhanced its technological infrastructure, enabling individuals to apply for benefits via their website. It’s also possible to apply for Medicare on the platform.
  • Opt for their automated services. If a visit to a Social Security office is necessary, streamline the process. According to Kilolo Kijakazi, former acting Social Security Administrator, “We have expanded mobile check-in and introduced an online scheduling system for those requiring a Social Security card appointment. Additionally, we have revamped our check-in kiosks to enhance accessibility and improve the overall check-in procedure.”
  • Conduct Your Business Online. With advancements in automated software, numerous tasks can now be completed online (refer to the previous website link). Kijakazi notes, “Clients can initiate, and often finalize, their SSN card requests and certain benefit applications online. We have recently introduced an online tool that enables customers to electronically sign and upload specific documents. These improvements facilitate the rapid and secure completion of millions of transactions online.”
  • Seek assistance. Certain aspects of Social Security can be highly complex. Support is accessible through local senior centers and area agencies on aging, which are present in nearly every city and county. Additionally, support may be found at a local AARP chapter.

However, challenges may still arise when interacting with Social Security. Despite some improvements, the disability benefits process remains arduous. Kijakazi adds, “We are simplifying our disability redetermination and overpayment notices to ensure they are shorter, easier to comprehend, and less burdensome for our clients.”

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