Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty
(including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on
those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces
reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social
Security. Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your
military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record
for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you
qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social
earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty
for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for
inactive duty training.
If your active military service occurred:
• From 1957 through 1967, the Social Security
Administration 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
• After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits
for military service.
January 2002, the Defense Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-117),
stopped the special extra earnings that had been credited to military
service personnel. Military service in calendar year 2002 and following
years no longer qualifies for these special extra earnings credits
Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings
The information that follows applies only to active duty
military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here’s how the special
extra earnings are credited on your record:
1957 Through 1977
You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for
each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
1978 through 2001
For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited
with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If
you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn’t complete at least 24
months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive
the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.