Access Your Earnings History with my Social Security

September 7, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: September 7, 2023

Person reviewing online earnings history on tabletIt may have been years or even decades since you thought about how much you earned at your first job.

Did you know that you can find out how much you made that first year? Or any year you worked?

Your earnings history is a record of your progress toward your future Social Security benefits. We track your earnings so we can pay you the benefits you’ve earned over your lifetime. That is why it’s so important for you to review your earnings record.

You should review your earnings history and let us know if there are any errors or omissions, even though it’s your employer’s responsibility to provide accurate earnings information to us. Otherwise, you will not get credit for money you paid in payroll taxes, and your future Social Security benefits will be lower than you should receive. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct.

If an employer didn’t properly report even just one year of your earnings to us, that error could reduce your future benefit payments. Over your lifetime, that could cost you thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits that you’re entitled to receive. It’s important to identify and report errors as soon as possible. If too much time passes, it could be hard for you to get older tax documents. Also, some employers may no longer exist or be able to provide past payroll information.

The best way to verify your earnings record is to create or sign in to your personal my Social Security account. You should review your earnings carefully every year and confirm them using your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns. Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet. When you have a my Social Security account, we send you an email three months before your birthday to remind you to check your earnings and to get future benefit estimates.

You can find out how to correct your earnings record by reading our publication, How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record.

Start a conversation. Ask a family member or friend what their first job was and let them know they can find out what they made that year.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Acting Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Michael

    If there are years I don’t see reported on my work history that I worked as a 1099 employee but never had taxes taken out of my check for social security tax. If I didnt file that year does social security taxes have to be paid to get the credits? When I went on SSI for mental health disability I remember the Hearing Judge saying I ended up 1 credit shy of eligiblity for SSID. I’m 40 years old can I be on SSI and SSID? If I ended up getting that 1 credit I need would I stay on SSI or is it possible they could switch me into the SSID program? Which is better? I heard people on SSID get a considerable amount more money issued monthly? I’m not quite sure what the difference are between the two only that SSID pays quite a bit more.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Michael. Thanks for visiting our blog. First, credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether a person has the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. No benefits can be paid if you do not have enough credits. For more information, please read our publication, How to Earn Credits. Second, we pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs-based disability program that pays benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI. SSDI pays benefits to those who cannot work due to a disability that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, providing the person has paid enough into the Social Security program. There are times when people can receive both SSI and SSDI, depending on their situation and whether they meet the requirements. Finally, for specific questions about your situation, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.


  2. siddharth b.

    Thank you for such an amazing post.
    We at Dayitwa offer distance learning.

  3. Ronnie E.

    How to open a my social security account if I live out side the US.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ronnie. Thanks for visiting our blog. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  4. Arcelia F.

    I would like to know why Trulicity doesn’t have a lesser and/or copayment? Or make it a longer period not to go into “the donut hole “ I understand that the cost $898.00 is a lot, but I think the pharmaceutical companies are taking it way out of our budget.
    It’s very frustrating when you are “over qualified “ for any government programs! By the way I haven’t never received any government assistance!!Because I have worked hard and paid my taxes for over 40 years???
    I am cramping a BIG problem into this little box!

  5. Leah

    I ha e tried to get this done several times. And like the other person said, commenting here; I need the exact information but can’t get it.
    It’s been so many years that there’s no irs records available or anywhere else.
    It would help if our complete records were made available to us on our myssa accounts.
    We shouldnt have to beg for this information or pay for it. It’s ours.

    • JOHN D.

      I agree some employers violate the rules & not report earnings because they must match them & are records are either in-verdantly or adversely lost misplaced or just flat not reported correctly or incompetently?

      • Bradley B.

        It’s true employers do in varying degrees manipulate their responsibilities to correctly account how much money is to be paid into “every” category…
        The list is the list 💵
        It was truly
        an employer of
        20 years
        had done
        with his book’s
        with my record of
        history at
        his private mega million dollar
        Home building land developing company’s
        I only had the stupid idea one time too make an argument for myself when I discovered hail Mary’s
        I’m only commenting
        one time today (16 years elapsed time) because although he’s possibly still alive I know he’d endured a fall at a job site left him in a state of brain injured aphasia that lessens any threat he may have once been to me 😬😐😶
        On any official records I appear to
        be a
        with a work history of a substantially lower income earned then I really was and how this employer “this deeply intelligent draconian entity” made to order the manifestations he’d ✔ done ✔
        Blows the mind I
        never ever thought that anyone could masturbate on me
        & I
        found no
        way I
        could do
        about it to him that’d affect a
        positive outcome he is !
        was ?
        a dangerous person with “a long arm…”
        A FB page of worldwide frightening nastiness
        I’d only broached upon a forbidden topic ONCE..🍑🙇🎩
        I growled occasionally but kept my mouth shut and my fingers damned sticky NOT

  6. VL R.

    What is NOT answered in this blog post, how to go about getting a physical copy of my lifetime earnings mailed to me? I know in my apartment complex there is more than two dozen people that are over 65 years old and are not tech savvy plus have Never used a computer.


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