Avoid Costly Errors by Checking Your Social Security Statements Once a Year

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
October 05, 2012 /

How many American citizens check their social security statements or even think about doing so?  However, particularly if you are planning for retirement it could be considered crucial that you check your social security statements at least once each year. They are a record of your lifetime earnings, according to Social Security.

A factor to consider is that if you are waiting for your social security statements through the mail, this service has been stopped except in special situations. This was a move to help with reducing costs, replaced by a decision to carry out a once-off mailing to workers when they reach the age of twenty five. The service includes people of sixty and over if they have not already started receiving benefits from Social Security. Otherwise, for anyone outside those categories, you must obtain your social security statements online!

One aspect to pay special attention to in obtaining social security statements is that you have been credited correctly with the number of years you have worked. This factor affects the amount of benefit to which you are entitled.  Your eventual benefits will be determined by the average earnings in your lifetime and if this earning record when related to your social security statements is not accurate then you could find yourself not receiving what is due to you.

There are a variety of reasons why earnings information may be incorrect. An employer could have provided the wrong information, used an incorrect name or Social Security number. In addition, confusion could have been caused by your getting married or divorced and the change in status was not reported to the authorities.

On checking your Social Security statements and finding incorrect details then you will need to present proof of earnings from a W-2 form a previous tax return or pay slip. Once you have the proof you should contact the Social Security but if you cannot find proof of earnings you should be able to correct the information by giving them your employers details and the dates you worked for them.

It is relatively easy to obtain copies of your social security statements by going online to the official Social Security Agency site. You must be eighteen years of age of older and be able to answer questions related to the information that is already filed with Social Security. On being verified you will be required to establish an account with the whole process taking about fifteen minutes. By this method you are able to review your social security statements anytime whenever you wish. Added to retirement and disability benefits you could receive is information related to Medicare and estimates regarding potential family benefits.

It is generally accepted that technology can cause problems and misunderstandings. However, if you had trouble in gaining access to your social security statements it could be because you did not provide correct answers to the security questions asked. Alternatively, your answers do not match your information on the social security statements system. Another reason could be that the information given on your credit report is incorrect.

There are other options open to you for obtaining your social security statements if you have online challenges. They can be mailed to you or you could visit your local Social Security office with a document of identification, establish an account and then access your online information.

 

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