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Social Security: Beat the heat; go online

For the August 6, 2011 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

If the dog days of summer have you turning up the air conditioning or fan, here’s a hot tip to keep cool. When the time comes to apply for your Medicare benefits, don’t worry about trudging into the heat and making your way in the blazing sun to a Social Security office. Just pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea, sit back in the comfort of your home or office, and go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is go online. You can use our online application to sign up for Medicare, even if you are not ready to retire. It takes less than 10 minutes.

Keep in mind that if you’re applying to start receiving Social Security benefits at age 65 or are already receiving benefits, your enrollment in Medicare is automatic and no additional application is needed. However, if you’re within four months of your 65th birthday and you plan to delay your retirement benefits, you should consider applying for Medicare.



Applying for Medicare on the Internet is convenient, quick, and easy. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Once we process your application, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail.

For more information about applying for Medicare only and delaying retirement benefits, read our Retirement Planner page: Applying for Medicare Online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/justmedicare.htm.



kathy petersen is a public affairs specialist for social security, denver region. you can write her c/o social security administration, 605 main, suite 201, rapid city, sd, 57701 or via e-mail at kathy.petersen@ssa.gov. get ready to go back to school in kathy’s column next week.


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