By:Bob Wood-Vice President, Milwaukee, WI Area Local APWU
There is a little known fact about additional Social Security benefits for those who served their county in the Armed Force
If you served between January 1957 and December 2001 you may be eligible for up to $1,200.00 per year of earnings credit -which can make a substantial difference in social security monthly payments upon your retirement.
Keep this article in your files and use it when you apply for Social Security down the road.
Social Security website:
Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings.
Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.
Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.
Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra credits are not granted for inactive duty for training.
If your active military service occurred...
From 1957 through 1967, the U.S Social Security Administration will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. These credits should automatically be added to your record.
After 2001, there are no special extra earning credits added to your account.
HOW YOU GET CREDIT FOR SPECIAL EXTRA EARNINGS
The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earrings are credited on your record.
Service in 1957 through 1977:
You are credited with $300.00 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
Service in 1978 through 2001:
For every $300.00 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100.00 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200.00 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.
FYI: This benefit is not automatic; make sure you ask for it.
Source: The Hi-Lites (PPA)