Special extra earnings & Social Security


Q.  On www.ssa.gov/retire2/military.htm#2002 it states that between the years 1957 and 2001, Special Extra Earnings can be credited to your Social Security benefit for active-duty military service between the above mentioned years. I started drawing Social Security in 2010. How do I determine if these Special Extra Earnings were applied?

A.  The site you included clearly states the following (emphasis added):

  • From 1957 through 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
  • From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
  • After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.

I think you’ll have to accept the Social Security Administration word that this has or will be done.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I still think Iam entitled to my $300.00 per month stipend, because the order from Washington D.C. doesn’t say anything about civilian work history. I think its criminal for the social security administration to steal $300.00 per month from veterans simply because of breaks in their civilian work history when it has nothing to do with the military. And Iam going to keep fighting for that stipend. Iam an Honorably discharged U.S.M.C. veteran and that is my money. It isn’t right for social security to come up with a scheme to rob veterans of $3,600 per year. I will be contacting Washington D.C. about my stipend. The politicians in Illinois are thieves.

    • Because this is a site for federal civilian employees and retirees, we aren’t qualified to comment on your situation.

  2. I’m already drawing SS. Can I apply for an increase in future monthly benefits based on my military service?
    If so, can I collect the difference retroactively?

    • Because you had Social Security deductions taken from your pay while in military service, that time has already been taken into account when determining the amount of your Social Security benefit.

  3. Why is this Not disclosed at the time you file for Social Security as to military service and the pay out of years.
    It also does not show up on your earnings. So how much is it worth for 4 years of service 71-75.

  4. Roger L. Schlosser on

    I served active duty from 1957 to 1960. I retired from civilian occupation in 2001 and applied for
    SSA benifits when eligelable in July of that year. Do I qualify for more money?

    • You’ll have to provide more information. When you say you “retired from civilian occupation,” do you mean from the federal government? If so, are you now receiving an retirement annuity? When you say “served on active duty,” did you make a deposit to get credit for your active duty service? When you say “Do I qualify for more money?” from whom would you hope to get it?

  5. I served in the US Navy from Sept. 1959 to Oct. 1963 plus 2 years of reserved duty’. Do I qualify for the extra Social Security stated in this document? Do I report to the social security with my DD-214 papers? Thank you for your advise.

  6. My husband served 23 years in the military,including years served in years 1957 , is he intitled to this benefit,he has since passed away,do am I as his benefiary intitled to this increase? I have his DD 214 form from time servered in the navy and air force.Thank you for any information you could supply me with concerning this.

    • Because this is a site for civilian employees and retirees. we aren’t able to answer your question. You’ll have to check with the branch of service in which he last served.

  7. Albert De Stefanis on

    I served in the military from January 66to January 68.I retired in 2008,dO I QUALIFY FOR THIS BENEFIT

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