Access Your Earnings History with my Social Security

September 7, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 2, 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, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Angela F.

    I have waited to file my taxes before I apply for Social security. But my record for 2023 is not available yet. Should I apply now or wait until it becomes available? Would it affect the calculation? How long it may take for the IRS to submit this information to Social security?

    • Crystal B.

      Hi Angela F., thank you for using our blog and for your questions. After you’ve filed your 2023 tax return, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send us your earnings. That said, the decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can provide you with information and resources to help you make the best choice based on your situation. We encourage you to create a personal my Social Security Account and review your Social Security Statement. You’ll see how much you’ll get in retirement benefits when you apply at different ages between 62 and 70. These personalized estimates are based on your earnings to date. If you need additional assistance, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

  2. Zeke R.

    I am trying to access my earnings history from 1970-1986 to verify I worked in a profession in which I operated equipment which resulted in a significant hearing loss. I did not find this anywhere or able to access this on my social security account. How do I access the earning history without paying $44 for each year I request. Is such a thing possible?


    • Sue

      Hi, Zeke. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. For information on how to get a detailed earnings statement, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps. 

  3. Chuck S.

    I am retiring in June and will be on the special first year rule.My question is my job pays me by a 1099 i will go over the yearly limit but the starting in june i will stay under the monthly limit.I do get paid every month by direct deposit.How will SS no how much i earned starting in June.

    • Sue

      Hi, Chuck. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. We have a special earnings limit rule for people like you who retire mid-year and have already earned more than the annual earnings limit. The special rule lets us pay a Social Security check for any month your earnings are $1,860 or less, regardless of your annual earnings. Our retirement application includes questions about your total earnings for 2024 and the months when you expect to earn less than $1,860. For more information about the special rule, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  4. Jennifer

    Good Morning, is there a record of all the employers I had that paid into social security for me? And where on my account do I see the number of quarters I have earned? Thank You

  5. Eva D.

    I recently changed my Medicare coverage and wish to know the amount of my monthly SS check and determine how much, if anything, is being deducted.

    • Sue

      Hi, Eva. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. You can use your personal my Social Security account to check the benefits and payments you receive. Below your online Benefit Summary, you’ll find the information you’re looking for – the monthly amount of any Part A, B, C, and D premiums we’re withholding from your payments. If we’re not withholding premiums for Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage), you’ll need to contact the plan for that information. We hope this helps.   


  6. this w.

    This page states “The best way to verify your earnings record is to create or sign in to your personal my Social Security account.” But that information is not available today when I checked.
    (1) Is this because logging into “your Social Security” account is not the same as “my Social Security” account? Please clarify on the site.
    (2) Please state if this information is hidden from people after a certain number of years of retirement (without taking benefits) and/or not earning anything.
    (3) Please state if this information is only available in the three months before each birthday. I am not in that timeframe.

    • Sue

      Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. You can access your complete earnings record online through your personal my Social Security account. After you sign in and agree to the Terms of Service, select the blue Review your full earnings now link in the middle of the webpage. You can also view your earnings record on your Social Security Statement, which combines your earlier years of earnings. If you still need assistance, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “Help desk.” We hope this helps.


  7. JD

    Hello! I closed my checking acct Dec 5 ’23 where I was receiving SS direct deposits & was only able to open a new checking acct on Jan 20 ’24. I have entered this new checking acct info in my online SS acct but says that I would not receive a payment until March. How do I get the missed payments from Dec, Jan, Feb? Thank you.

    • Sue

      Hi, JD. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To discuss your payments with a representative, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Or you can contact your local Social Security office. Wait times to speak to a representative are typically shorter Wednesdays through Fridays or later in the day. For more information, review our Get Your Payments Electronically publication. We hope this helps.

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