Social Security Information

This page last reviewed April 20, 2010

In October 1999, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began mailing earnings and benefit statements each year to all workers age 25 and older who are not already receiving monthly Social Security benefits. You can expect to receive your Statement each year about three months before your birth month. For example, if your birthday falls in February, you can expect to receive your Social Security Statement in November.

The four-page Social Security Statement is intended to help you plan your financial future by providing estimates of the monthly Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors benefits you and your family could be eligible to receive now and in the future.

The information in the Social Security Statement also will provide you with an easy way to determine whether your earnings are accurately reported and recorded on your Social Security record. Making sure the name and Social Security Number (SSN) your employer has on record matches your Social Security card is the best way to ensure earnings will be accurately recorded. This is important because the amount of your future benefits will be based on your Social Security earnings record. The Statement will tell you how to correct inaccurately posted earnings.

In addition to helping plan your retirement, these are other ways to use your Social Security Statement:
  • Plan your financial security for today and tomorrow by knowing the amounts of Social Security benefits that could be available to you and your family if you become disabled.
  • Determine whether you have sufficient insurance to protect your survivors if you die.
  • See how your potential Social Security benefits fit in with your investments and savings.

For more information about Social Security benefits you can either call or visit your local Social Security office, call their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or visit the Social Security Administration website.

Employees Should Contact The SSA When:

  • The Social Security Statement shows missing or incorrect earnings that occurred while: (1) working for another employer and/or (2) working for more than one employer and multiple Forms W-2 were submitted to SSA. You should have the tax record(s) for the year(s) in question available when calling SSA.
  • The name and/or SSN on the Statement are incorrect. Employees should make sure the name/SSNon their payroll records match and are correct in order to receive proper credit for their earnings on their Social Security record. Employees can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, to request an SS-5, Application for Social Security Card, which is also used to report name changes.
  • A state or local government employee receives a Statement with missing or incorrect covered earnings prior to 1987.

The Employer Can Offer Assistance When:

  • It is determined that the Statement is incorrect due to the employer's filing error. (Such circumstances may occur when an adjustment is made to the W-2 prior to reporting to SSA, but the employer failed to provide the employee with a reissued copy.) Employers can help employees whose Statement shows missing or incorrect earnings by submitting the proper forms. Please note: Earnings discrepancies exceeding the 4-year payroll record retention period established by IRS should be referred to SSA for resolution.
  • The employee's name/SSN on his or her Social Security card do not match the name/SSN on the employer's payroll record. These discrepancies are rare in state service because employees are required to provide a copy of the Social Security card when reporting a name change. The State Controller's Office will not allow the change if the requested name does not match the name on the Social Security card. However, if a discrepancy does occur, employees should contact their assigned Personnel Services Specialist. A copy of the employee's Social Security card will be required before any changes are made.