Social Security

Every individual who works and pays Social Security taxes (called FICA on some pay stubs) earns Social Security credits to apply toward retirement. Most people earn the maximum four credits per year.

The number of credits needed to get retirement benefits depends on an individual's date of birth. People born in 1929 or later need 40 credits to claim Social Security benefits -- or 10 years worth of work. Social Security benefits are based on earnings averaged over most of one's working career.

If you need assistance in your interactions with the Social Security Administration, Shelley's office may be able to help.

Please contact her district office in Martinsburg or Charleston for assistance, or send her a message about your claim by clicking here. The staff will likely ask you to complete a Privacy Act release form before they can begin your case.

To apply for benefits or to make an appointment to visit your local Social Security office in person, please call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or visit its website.

Depending on individual circumstances, some or all of the documents listed below are needed to apply for Social Security benefits. Individuals who don't have all of the outlined paperwork should not delay in applying for benefits, as your Social Security office can help you obtain proper documentation.

Information needed:

  • Social Security number
  • Birth certificate
  • W-2 forms or last year's tax returns
  • Proof of citizenship or lawful alien status
  • Name of your bank and your account number
  • Military discharge papers, if applicable
  • Spouse's birh certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits
  • Children's birth certificates and Social Security numbers if applying for children's benefits

For more information about the assistance Shelley and her staff may be able to provide, please visit How Shelley Can Help You. For information about the congresswoman's efforts to improve Social Security, along with other programs for West Virginia seniors, please visit Legislative Issues: Seniors.