Veterans Eligible for Special
Social Security Credit
The credits are extra Social Security wage credits, which are added
to the Social Security earnings records of people who were on active duty during certain time periods.
As the Social Security agency describes the process: “In all
cases, the additional earnings are credited to the earnings that we average over your working lifetime, not directly to your
monthly benefit amount.” But because benefits are calculated based on your earning record, these credits generally result
in higher monthly Social Security checks for qualifying veterans.
Since 1957, people on active duty
in the military have been covered by Social Security and thus have paid Social Security taxes. And since 1988, Social Security
has also covered people on inactive duty in the Armed Forces reserves (such as taking part in weekend drills). They, too paid
Social Security taxes.
As a result, these veterans are able to draw Social Security retirement
benefits along with their military retirement benefits.
Here are some details about those special wage credits. The following
applies only to people who were on active duty or active duty for training during these times:
1940 – 1956. Veterans with active service during World War
II (for bookkeeping purposes, this is defined as September 16, 1940, through July 24, 1947) or the post World War II period
(July 25, 1947, through December 31, 1956) may be credited with an extra $160 in Social Security earnings for each month of
1957 through 1977. Veterans of this period are credited with $300 in additional Social Security earnings
for each calendar quarter in which they received active duty basic pay.