According to Oscar Garcia, director of the San Antonio, Tx Social Security Administration District Field Office, it is a good idea to arrive early, before the office opens. Even if you arrive an hour early you will find yourself standing in a line waiting for the office to open. They have fewer visitors late in the week as well as late in the month. Your chances of having a shorter wait are on those days.
If you are nearing retirement age and you are ready to apply for benefits your local Social Security office will be able to help you complete the application form. Sometimes government forms can be confusing and it is easy to become frustrated with the entire process. The agents are trained to help you navigate through the form and answer all your questions. Do not be bashful or feel that your questions are stupid, Social Security benefits are important and you need all the information to make informed decisions.
If your spouse or family member has passed away you will need to contact the Social Security office to inform them of the death. The agent will need a copy of the death certificate. A widow or widower and/or surviving child may be entitled to certain benefits.
Some states apply restrictions on Social Security benefits when people marry or divorce. It is a good idea to notify your local Social Security office of the change in your status. Many states require a marriage license or divorce decree to be on file.