Ask Larry

Is It Too Late To Get Credits For My Military Service?

I served in the army 9/28/1960 to 9/27 63 active duty and 9/28/1966/inactive. I retired at age 62 and i am now 77.
I do not recall having my time in active duty paying taxes counted in my ss benefits
if not can i go back to ss to check or is it to late I do have my DD 214

Hi,

You should have received deemed military wages (DMW) (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.09/handbook-0953.html) for the years that you were on active duty, but DMWs would not have increased your benefit rate unless those years were among your highest earnings years on which your benefit rate is based. There is a question on Social Security applications that asks if you ever had active military service, so you probably received the proper credits assuming that you answered that question 'yes' when you applied.

If you weren't credited with DMWs that would have increased your benefit rate, though, Social Security could still give you those credits now. Whether or not they could do so retroactively would depend on the specific circumstances involved. If your current benefit rate already includes DMWs it would be reflected on Social Security's computer records. So, it should be easy enough to check on that by calling Social Security. If you didn't receive DMWs you'll probably need to submit proof of your active duty in order to get credit for them, ideally your form DD-214 from the military. DMWs are automatically credited for years after 1967, but not for years prior to 1968.

Best, Jerry

Posted: 
Dec 10 2020 - 1:17pm
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