No icon

Social Security

Celebrating country and community

Vonda VanTil

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

The Fourth of July, and days preceding and following it, bring together family, friends and neighbors, to celebrate that we’re all part of a community.

Everyone pitches in, combining their resources — great food, music and displays — to lift our spirits.

Social Security has been helping people maintain their independence for more than 80 years. In that time, we’ve made it even easier for you to access the programs and benefits you might need. Today, applying online is a fast way to get those crucial benefits.

Here are some of the 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

- Disability. You can apply online for disability benefits at

- Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs. Some people need assistance with the cost of medications. Apply for Extra Help at

- Medicare. This national health insurance program administered by the U.S. federal government began in 1966. You should apply before your 65th birthday at

- Supplemental Security Income. 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. See if you can apply online for SSI at

Social Security provides benefits for millions of people, including retirees, wounded warriors, children, and people with disabilities who cannot work. Find the help you or your family needs at

We need you to let loved ones know about the ways we may provide benefits. By sharing our resources with friends and family, you can help create independence for them at


Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You may write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email to 


Comment As:

Comment (0)