Should Additional Earnings Be Posted To My Social Security Earnings History?

Oct 9 2019 - 7:54pm

On my summary of earnings, 6 years (1892-1989) that I was teaching full-time in Humble Texas, are recorded as $0. Someone at social security said in in Texas you could opt out, or collect the social security earnings, when you left the job. Is this possible and if so, I am certain I did NOT authorize this, but am quite certain my ex husband would have taken the money out in a heartbeat. We regrettably were still married then. Is there anything I can do to have those earnings reinstated as they will fall within my highest 35 years of earnings. Thanks!--LL

Hi LL,

There is no way that your husband could have taken out any Social Security (SS) taxes that were deducted from your earnings. If your employer deducted SS taxes from your wages during the years you mention, they would almost certainly be posted to your Social Security earnings record. The most likely explanation is that your employer opted out of Social Security, in which case your wages would have been exempt from SS taxes and the zeroes on your record would then be correct. It's theoretically possible that your employer deducted SS taxes from your earnings and they don't show up on your earnings history due to a mix-up of some sort, such as your employer reporting your earnings under the wrong Social Security number, but that's unlikely.

If you have your W-2s from the years in question and they show that SS taxes were deducted from your wages, you can get credit for those earnings by presenting copies of your W-2s to Social Security. If you don't have copies of your W-2s and you have reason to believe that SS taxes were in fact deducted from your earnings in those years, you could ask Social Security to search their database of unassociated wages reported by your former employer for the years you worked for them.

Best, Jerry