by Cherryl Kjos
Winona Social Security District Manager
Every Memorial Day, people around the nation honor those who served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice. It is also important to honor those who have served and continue to serve in our nation's military, which is why May is National Military Appreciation Month.
But serving those who serve our country is not limited to a month or holiday for Social Security. Social Security serves the military on a daily basis.
People in the military have been covered under Social Security since 1957. Even people in the service before 1957, may receive special credit for some of their service. People in the military are covered for the same survivors, disability and retirement benefits as everyone else.
A person's Social Security benefit depends on earnings, averaged over a lifetime. Generally, the higher your earnings, the higher your Social Security benefit. Under certain circumstances, special earnings can be credited to your military pay record for Social Security purposes. The extra earnings are for periods of active duty or active duty for training. These extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.
But you don't have to call us ahead of time; Social Security will add these extra earnings to your earnings record when you file for benefits. To learn more about Social Security for people who have served in the military, read a copy of our publication, Military Service and Social Security. You can find it online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Today, and always, we at Social Security honor those who serve by serving them.