Courtesy: Social Security Administration
Say “annual checkup” and most people imagine waiting at their doctor’s office. But there’s another type of checkup that can give you a sense of wellness without having to leave home. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and follow these five steps to conduct your own Social Security annual checkup.
Your Social Security Statement is available online anytime to everyone who has a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Creating your account gives you 24/7 access to your personal information and makes it impossible for someone else to set up an account in your name. We still send paper Statements to those who are 60 and older who don’t have an account and aren’t receiving Social Security benefits. Your Statement provides information about work credits (you need 40 credits to be entitled to a Social Security retirement benefit), estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits, plus a history of your earnings.
Work Credits Count
If you have earned 40 work credits, your Statement will show estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits. If you don’t have 40 work credits, the Statement shows how many you have and how many you still need to qualify for benefits.
Review Earnings Record
Review your history of earnings year by year to make sure each year is correct. This is important because Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. If any years are incorrect or missing, you may not receive all the benefits you are entitled to in the future. If you need to correct your earnings, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 between
7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please have your W-2 or paystubs with you when you call.
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To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Jane Yamamoto Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.