Checking Your Social Security Earnings

How to keep track of your Social Security Earnings and find errors made by the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security Administration keeps a running computer account of your earnings record and work credits, tracking both through your Social Security number. The Administration mails out copies of individual Social Security records on a Social Security Statement. The statement is mailed to everyone age 60 and over who is not currently receiving Social Security benefits.
How to Get a Copy of Your Social Security Statement
If you are age 60 or over but have not received your statement, or you are under age 60 and want to check your statement now, you can request a copy by following the instructions on the Social Security Administration’s website at http://www.ssa.gov. If the site is too busy to accommodate your request or you prefer to make the request in writing, you may fill out a simple form, SSA 7004, called a Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement, available at your local Social Security office. If you cannot easily get to your local office, you can request a copy of the form, in either Spanish or English, by calling: 800-772-1213.
Check The Social Security Administration's Math
It is always wise for you to check the SSA's work. And don't be surprised if you uncover an error. Some government-watchers estimate that the Social Security Administration makes mistakes on at least 3% of the total official earnings records it keeps. When you check your record, make sure that the Social Security number noted on your earnings statement is your own. Also make sure the earned income amounts listed on the agency's records mesh with your own records of earnings as listed on your income tax forms or pay stubs.
What to Do If the Social Security Administration Has Made an Error
When you have evidence of your covered earnings in the year or years for which you think Social Security has made an error, call Social Security's helpline at 800-772-1213, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is the line that takes all kinds of Social Security questions, and it is often swamped, so be patient. It is best to call early in the morning or late in the afternoon, late in the week or late in the month. Have all your documents handy when you speak with a representative.
If you would rather speak with someone in person, call your local Social Security office and make an appointment to see someone there, or drop into the office during regular business hours. If you drop in, be prepared to wait, perhaps as long as an hour or two, before you get to see a representative. Bring with you two copies of your benefits statement and the evidence that supports your claim of higher income. That way, you can leave one copy with the Social Security worker. Write down the name of the person with whom you speak so that you can reach the same person when you follow up.
The process to correct errors is slow. It may take several months to have the changes made in your record. After Social Security confirms that it has corrected your record, request another benefits statement to make sure the correct information is in your file.