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Social Security: A source of independence

On Wednesday, people in communities everywhere celebrate our nation’s independence with neighbors, family and friends.

Social Security has been helping people maintain a higher quality of life and a level of independence for more than 80 years. Applying online is the fastest way to get those crucial benefits.

Here are some of the types of benefits you can apply for:

>> Retirement or spouse’s benefits: You must be at least 61 years and 9 months old and want your benefits to start no more than four months in the future. Apply at socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.

>> Disability: You can apply online for disability benefits at socialsecurity.gov/disabilityonline.

>> Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs: Many people need assistance with the cost of medications. Apply for Extra Help at socialsecurity.gov/i1020.

>> Medicare: This national health insurance program administered by the federal government began in 1966. You can apply online at socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.

>> Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a federal income program funded by general tax revenues designed to help aged, blind and disabled people who have little or no income. You may be able to apply online if you meet certain requirements. Visit socialsecurity.gov/benefits/ssi.

Social Security provides benefits for millions of people including wounded warriors, children, the chronically ill and the disabled who cannot work. Find the help you or your family need at socialsecurity.gov/benefits.

Nicole Tiggemann is a spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration.

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