Do I Qualify For Additional Social Security Benefits For My Military Service?

Apr 5 2018 - 10:06am

I served in the Air Force from 1972 until 1976 (and inactive Reserves for another year - do I qualify for additional social security benefits for being Honorably Discharged from the military during this time? (I am currently 66 years old)

Hi,

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the extra Social Security credits granted to veterans. Veterans are not necessarily eligible for extra Social Security benefits based on their service. What they can receive are deemed military wages (DMW) that are added to their regular military pay for their periods of active duty. These DMWs increase their total countable earnings for the years of their active service, and those higher earnings are then used in the normal calculation of their Social Security retirement or disability benefit rate.

DMWs were granted for the years that you served in the military (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.09/handbook-0953.html). And since all of your service was after 1967, the DMWs would automatically have been added to your Social Security earnings history for the years in question. Therefore, your Social Security retirement benefit rate would already include any extra credit resulting from DMWs.

Best, Jerry