Social Security: Access Your Earnings History | Opinion

It may have been years or even decades ago that you thought about how much you made from your first job. Did you know you can see how much you earned that first year? Or any year you worked? Your income history is a record of your progress toward your future Social Security benefits. We track your earnings so we can pay you the benefits you’ve earned over your lifetime. That’s why it’s so important that you check your income statement.

You should review your earnings history and let us know if there are any errors or omissions, even if it is your employer’s responsibility to provide accurate earnings information to us. Otherwise, you won’t get credit for the money you paid in payroll taxes, and your future Social Security benefits will be less than you should receive. You are the only person who can view your lifetime earnings data and verify that it is complete and correct. If an employer doesn’t correctly report even one year of your earnings to us, that mistake could lower your future benefits. Over your lifetime, that could cost you thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. It is important to identify and report errors as soon as possible. If too much time passes, it can be difficult for you to get older tax documents. Also, some employers may no longer exist or be able to provide past payroll data.

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