How to Correct Mistakes on Your Social Security Statement

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Social Security CardEvery year after you turn 25, you should receive a Social Security Earnings Record. Sometimes, this is referred to as your Social Security statement. Your Social Security Earnings Record contains information about how much you have made in your years of employment, and your statement also contains information about your expected benefits later on.

As with any statement, there is always the chance that errors will occur. Your Social Security statement might include mistakes related to your name, date of birth, and your earnings. You want to make sure that all of the information is accurate. If information is inaccurate, you can contact the Social Security Administration and provide the necessary documentation to correct the mistake.

If your date of birth or name is wrong, it is usually fairly simple to supply the accurate information. A birth certificate can help, as can an approved ID. If you have recently changed your name, it makes sense to double-check the accuracy of your Social Security statement.

Missing Earnings

The most common error seen on Social Security statements is related to earnings. In some cases, your earnings from a particular year might be missing, or the amount might be listed as less than you actually earned. This matters because your Social Security benefits later in life, or the benefits for your spouse and/or children in the event that you die, are based on the how much money you have made — and how much you have paid into the system.

If there are missing earnings, you need to remedy that problem. In order to correct your Social Security statement, you need proof of your income during the time period that has the inaccuracies. You can use your W-2 or tax return (especially important if you are an independent contractor and don’t have a W-2). It’s also possible to use a pay slip, or your own wage records. If you don’t have the necessary documents, you will need to provide the name of your employer, the dates in question, and how much you earned.

Once you have the documentation you need, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA), and send copies (never originals). Realize, though, that it can take a few weeks or even months, depending on how complete your information is. The harder it is for the SSA to track down information related to your case, the longer it will take.

While you are waiting for information from the SSA, you can double-check on some of your other information. Did you accidentally five your employer the wrong Social Security number? Even if you get your earnings report fixed, it might be inaccurate another year if the number your employer has on file is wrong. Make sure that you correct this type of mistake.

Bottom Line

Carefully looking over your Social Security earnings statement each year. Make sure that the information contained in the report is accurate. Pay special attention to the earnings report to ensure that your earnings are properly reported so that you get the benefits to which you are entitled later on.

(Photo: DonkeyHotey)

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2 Responses to “How to Correct Mistakes on Your Social Security Statement”

  1. Vincent says:

    The SSA no longer sends out statements. You can register online to see your statement.

  2. Greg Hall says:

    Why doesn’t anyone claiming to be an authority on social security publish that the SSI has a 3 year statute of limitations? Correct before 3 years or lose it.

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