Your earnings record is a record of all earnings you have received during your work history kept by the SSA for the purpose of determining your eligibility for Social Security Disability and the amount of Social Security Disability benefits you would be eligible to receive in the event you become disabled. You should receive a copy of your earnings record annually around your birthday from the Social Security Administration. If you have not received your earnings record, you can obtain one from the SSA for a nominal fee. Most financial experts agree that you should review your earnings record on an annual basis. Because your earnings record is used to determine how many credits you have earned for Social Security Disability Insurance, you will want to make sure that you have received full credit for all of the time you spent working.
Verifying your earnings record is simple, and doesn’t take much time if you have kept your tax records. Even if you haven’t kept track of these important documents, you should be able to make sure that the information on your earnings record is at least reasonably accurate.
Most of the time, your earnings record will be correct. Like any system, however, there are occasional mistakes made by the Social Security Disability system. Common reasons for discrepancies in earnings records include an employer not turning in your information (or not turning it in correctly), a name change (usually due to marriage or divorce) which was not reported, causing income to be reported incorrectly, and mistakes in recording your Social Security number on work or tax forms. Whatever the reason for any errors, however, you will want to make sure to address them so that your Social Security Disability credits will be correctly recorded.
If your earnings record is in error, gather the best documentation you have available regarding what your earning records should read (W-2s, pay stubs, tax returns, or wage records are among the best options) and contact your local Social Security Administration Field Office. The sooner you get your earnings record corrected, the sooner you will be credited with the correct number of quarters of coverage for Social Security Disability.