Ask Larry

Will Social Security Use My Medicare Earnings If They Are Higher Than My Social Security Earnings?

I noticed on the social security earnings record that my for three years my social security earnings where different/lower than my Medicare earnings. For example in 1989 my ss earnings were $4,217 but my Medicare earnings were $26,183. I am unsure why there is such a disparity in the earnings. Will social security use the Medicare earnings if they are higher than the social security earnings? If not how can I correct the record if I am unable to locate my W-2 or tax forms? Thank You

Hi. No. When computing your benefit rate, Social Security will only give you credit for earnings on which you paid Social Security taxes. For example, wages earned by some federal civil service employees are subject to Medicare taxes, but are exempt from Social Security taxes. Those taxes fund the Medicare program, not Social Security. As a result, those earnings cannot be used for Social Security quarters of coverage (QC) or benefit computation purposes.

If you think that you did in fact pay Social Security taxes on earnings that don't appear on your Social Security earnings record, then you'll likely need to submit evidence in order to get your earnings record corrected. The best evidence of wages is a W-2 form, but Social Security can potentially use secondary evidence ( I would suggest contacting Social Security to discuss your options if you believe that your earnings record isn't accurate.

Best, Jerry

May 18 2023 - 12:34pm
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