Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Representing the 1st District of Nebraska

Social Security

Congressman Fortenberry's office is ready to answer your questions or assist you with Social Security benefits. If you are unable to resolve your problem with the Social Security Administration, please contact the Lincoln office for immediate assistance at (402) 438-1598 and ask for the Social Security constituent services representative.

Social Security Links On-line:

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security:

How do I apply for Social Security retirement benefits?

To apply for benefits, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213. They have a TTY phone connection at 1-800-325-0778. You can ask SSA to send you the correct forms, and they can answer questions you may have.

When am I eligible to receive benefits?

In order to be eligible for retirement benefits, you have to have enough "credits" (10 years of work — you earn one credit per certain amount of money that you make) and have paid into Social Security.

You are eligible for SSA retirement benefits when you reach age 65 (however, beginning in 2003, the age at which you can apply for retirement benefits will increase gradually from 65 to 67), but you can apply early at age 62. If you apply early, the benefits you receive will be reduced, but you will receive them for a longer time.
The amount you receive depends on how much you earned when you were working. You can also delay applying for Social Security retirement. If you do so, your extra income may increase your benefit amount, and you will receive a credit.

How do I apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits?

To apply for benefits or to ask questions about SSI, contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
Supplemental Security Income is an income assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration for people who are elderly (65 or older), blind, or disabled (physical or mental problem expected to last at least one year or result in death) who don't have many assets (the things you own are worth less than $2,000) and who don't earn much money (less than $520/per month if you don't work, and $1,073/per month if you work).
These amounts change periodically. For the most current, call SSA at the above number.
You can generally expect an answer on whether you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) within two to six months.

What determines eligibility for disability?

In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must be unable to perform work of any kind and your disability must be expected to last at least one year or result in death. You must also have worked long enough (earned certain number of "credits") and recently enough under the Social Security System. The specific numbers depend on individual situations.