How Can I Get Credit For Earnings Not Posted To My Social Security Earnings Record?

Jan 29 2017 - 5:30am

Good morning. I have a question/concern. I am 46 year old veteran. I am 60% disabled by the VA. My life has been in turmoil for many years after my service and I am finally beginning to get back on my feet. My question is regarding social security credits. I have worked on and off at one specific place for several years. This employer closed in February 2015. I had not filed taxes for several years because at that time I was at a point that I didn't care much for anything and wasn't very responsible. Fast forward to 2017. I was made aware that I can apply for social security disability. I began looking for information and found that I need a certain amount of credits. I was told that I would be able to file the taxes for previous years to obtain the credits I need. How years of back taxes does social security allow to be able to claim credits? I have the employer id number. I have to file 2007, 2009-2013 and 2015.

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your health problems.

If you were an employee during the years in question and your employer withheld Social Security taxes from your pay, you could receive credit for all of those years even if you didn't file a tax return. However, if your employer failed to report your earnings to the IRS, you would need to submit proof of the earnings to Social Security in order to get credit. The ideal form of proof would be copies of your W-2 forms, but other types of evidence may be acceptable (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0301403052).

If you were self-employed, or if your former employer didn't withhold Social Security taxes because you were considered as an independent contractor, you would need to file a tax return and pay the appropriate self-employment taxes within 3 years, 3 months and 15 days from the end of a year in order to receive Social Security credits. That means that you could still potentially get credit for 2013 and subsequent years of earnings if you file your returns and pay the necessary taxes by April 15th of this year.

I should point out that you would need 20 quarters of Social Security credits within the 40 quarter period (i.e. the equivalent of 5 years of earnings credits within a 10 year period) ending with the date you became disabled in order to be insured for disability benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.02/handbook-0207.html).

Best, Jerry