Jul 01 2010

Social Security has errors about my income!

I was reviewing my Social Security Statement that came in the mail earlier this year. I noticed one year looked extremely low — $462 in 2004.

“What was I doing in 2004?” I wondered.

It was two semesters of college — a freshman and sophomore year. I had a slightly-above-minimum-wage job for the summer, and I know I earned more than $462.

I have a copy of my 1040 form for that year, and it was around $2,300. Hmm.

I called the Social Security info number and they told me I need the actual W2s for each year in question for them to adjust their records. Those things live at my Mom’s house for the years I was in school, so I’ll need to get a hold of those before I proceed further.

Taking a quick look at my records for 2006, I see that Social Security thinks I earned about $3,000 less than I actually did for the year. What the heck?

I’m going to have to go through this year-by-year to make sure they record every dollar I earned.

Take-away lessons: Save all your W2s and other tax records for at least 7 years, if not more. And double-check the records Social Security has with the files you have!

Why is this so important? Well, you need 40 credits (maximum of 4 credits earned per year) to receive retirement benefits, according to the info I received in the mail.

One credit = $1,120 of wages, or $4,480 for the year to get your 4 credits.

So, for 2004, I think I’m entitled to 2 credits, and in 2006 I think they owe me 2 more. That’s at least 4 more credits, stinkers!

For the years their official records show, I have 16 credits. I think it should be 21. And that’s not counting 2009 or 2010, which should get me 4 credits per year.

I am fully aware that as it stands now, the Social Security retirement benefit will be exhausted long before I reach age 62 or 67, for that matter. I understand that I may not get any money from the SSA at all. But if I’m entitled to a little bit of money when I’m older, then yes, I want to get my money!

Since I’m a SAHM and earn money from home (and not a ton, mind you), every dollar counts. I want to be sure I get those 40 credits, just in case we can receive some sort of payout from it.

Plus, I want to be sure their records show I earned as much as I did in those previous years, since that will determine the amount of retirement benefit I get, or survivor’s benefit my family would get should I kick the bucket young (God, I’d rather stick around for awhile please!), or if I somehow became disabled and unable to earn income.

So I’m going to gather all the W2s for those years so they can adjust their records. I hope this process won’t be a giant pain.

Have you seen errors in your Social Security earnings statement? Do you check?

9 Responses to “Social Security has errors about my income!”

  1. Verify that Social Security was actually taken out of your wages. Most schools have deals that if their students are taking a full close load they can be exempt from contributing to Social Security during those semesters and therefore not get credits for them. I only paid SS during the summer and got credits for that time period.

  2. Yep, I came here to say the same thing as Marie. I had no idea about this (and my job in college wasn’t a student job, really, just a part-time job with the university) until I started my student job a few months ago here. I had to sign something for the summer saying I agreed to allow SS to be taken out during the summer because I wasn’t enrolled in any classes for those two sessions.
    .-= Bethany B-A´s last blog ..Does this look like a sock to you =-.

  3. Hmm. That is a really good point! I’ll take a look at my W2s when I get them to see what the deal is.

    I had summer jobs each year of college but I also worked during school for several semesters, so that could be part of the problem.

  4. I don’t even look at my social security reports when they come. Why bother? I do not anticipate a single penny coming back to me. I’m a little bitter about it too. :)
    .-= megscole64´s last blog ..Do You Take Checks =-.

  5. Not for retirement age maybe, but it might be good just in case of survivor’s benefits (hope not!). Or disability!

  6. Wow, never even thought to check to be sure the wages were recorded correctly. I always look at the yearly statement… just never compared the wages.

    Hope it’s not too much of a pain for you to get it all sorted out.

    Thanks for the tip!
    .-= Mary @ Tips&Treasures´s last blog ..Every Day With Rachael Ray – 373 for a year- =-.

  7. ditto–what she said….Call your college. If that’s not the case, call your Congressman’s office–they may be able to get you higher up in the SSA food chain.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..New Giveaway- Big Book of Freezer Cooking- =-.

  8. #7, no need to call your Congressman. Just find the records and call or visit Social Security. They can handle this much better than you Congressman.

    As for those, who think they will not get anything from SS. You probably will get money from SS, especially, if you have not saved a lot of other money. Thus, you should make sure you income is correct on your SS statement that is mailed to you each year.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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