Everyone who is at least 25 years old and pays Social Security tax is sent a Social Security Earnings Record three months before their birthday. The benefits you or your family can receive are computed using the earnings shown on your record. To receive what you deserve, you should examine the document carefully to ensure the Social Security Administration has an accurate record of your lifetime earnings.

What Should I Look For?

The most important items you should check include:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Earnings

What Is the Most Common Error?

The most common error is missing earnings. While you should not be concerned with earnings missing from the current or prior year, as they likely have not been recorded, you will need to take action if earnings from other years are missing.

Why Are My Earnings Missing?

Some reasons why earnings are missing from your statement include:

  • An employer reported your earnings incorrectly
  • Either you or your employer used the wrong Social Security number
  • Your name changed and it was not reported to the Social Security Administration

What Documents would I Need to Correct an Error?

You need to show the Social Security Administration some proof of your earnings. Evidence includes:

  • W-2 or tax return
  • Wage stub or pay slip
  • Your own wage records

Absent these documents, the Social Security Administration will need to know the name of your employer, where you worked, for what dates, and the amount you earned.

Once I Have Evidence, What Is the Next Step?

Contact the Social Security Administration and they will begin an investigation. The process of correcting your Earnings Record can take some time depending on how much information you provide and the seriousness of the error.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If your Social Security Earnings Record is incorrect, the benefits you and your family receive could be inaccurate. If you contacted the Social Security Administration or Employer to correct a mistake and the data is still incorrect, a government attorney experienced with Social Security regulations may help resolve your problem.