November 22, 2023

Social Security Check-up: Download Your Most Recent SSA Statement

The end of the calendar year inevitably brings check lists of things we need to do. There are appointments to make, places to visit, records to gather and people to see.

One important task to add to your list is to download a copy of your most recent statement from the Social Security Administration. These are the annual statements that show what you have paid in and how much will be available to you upon reaching retirement age, sometime between age 62 and 70.

Weiss & Company LLP recommends that you do this every year. Don’t be intimidated by the complicated forms of years past: the statements have been redesigned and are easier to understand. Review your statement and save it, and if you find something that seems odd, be sure to alert your accountant.

What should you look for when you download your SSA statement? Here are three suggestions.

  • Check your earnings record. Does it include all the years you’ve worked?
  • Plan for your retirement by reviewing your personalized monthly retirement benefit estimates for each year between ages 62 and 70. You can see how much you can expect to receive in benefits and use that for planning and budgeting.
  • Download other information available on the site specific to your age and earnings bracket.

Time Limit on Reporting Mistakes
One important reason to check your earnings statement annually is there is a time limit for making corrections. According to the official Social Security Handbook, “An earnings record can be corrected at any time up to three years, three months, and 15 days after the year in which the wages were paid or the self-employment income was derived.”

There are exceptions to the time limit, but they are for specific situations. Bottom line is, it is not indefinite, so speak up and notify your accountant if you see a mistake.

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