The Transylvania Times -

Veterans Can Earn Extra Money On Their Social Security Retirement Checks


Under certain circumstances, U.S. military veterans who served between 1940 and 2001 can be credited for special extra earnings on their Social Security checks.

These extra earnings may increase the amount of a Social Security benefit.

However, depending on the length and period of military service, some veterans may find the benefit increase to be minimal.

Veterans should also know these special extra earnings are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training.

Special extra earnings are not granted for reserve inactive duty training.

The Social Security Administration will add these extra earnings when filing for benefits. Veterans must tell the administration that they served in the U.S. military during the below periods.

A copy of discharge documents must also be provided. For those who served before Dec. 31, 1949, each service had its own type of discharge document. For those released from active duty or discharged after Jan. 1, 1950, the DD-214 form was used.

Service From 1940

Through 1956

For those in the U.S. military during this period (including attendance at a service academy), they did not pay Social Security taxes.

However, their Social Security record may be credited with $160 a month in earnings for military service from Sept. 16, 1940, through Dec. 31, 1956, under the following circumstances:

• The veteran was honorably discharged after 90 days or more of service, or were released because of a disability or injury received in the line of duty; or

• The veteran was applying for Social Security survivors benefits and the veteran died while on active duty.

Veterans cannot receive credit for these special extra earnings if they are already receiving a federal benefit based on the same years of service. There is one exception: For those on active duty after 1956, they can still get the special earnings for 1951 through 1956, even if they are receiving a military retirement based on service during that period.

Service From 1957

Through 1977

Veterans are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which they received active duty base pay.

Service From 1978

Through 2001

For every $300 in active duty base pay, veterans are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. For those who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, and did not complete at least 24 months of active duty or a full tour, they may not be able to receive the additional earnings.

Where To Apply

For those already receiving Social Security benefits and are not sure if they are receiving the extra credit for military service, check with the Social Security office in Hendersonville located at 205 South Grove St. Call 692-0534 or 1-800-772-1213 for more information.

For those applying for benefits for the first time, make sure to bring a DD-214.

The Transylvania County Veterans Service Office is located in the Social Services Building, 203 East Morgan St., Room 237, Brevard. The office is normally open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., other times by appointment. The phone number is 884-3276, or email veterans.service@

(Pearsall is the Transyl-vania County Veterans Service Officer.)


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