AMAC Foundation Expands Social Security Advisory Services
Several AMAC Foundation representatives have earned certification as National Social Security Advisors, qualifying them to counsel retirees and pre-retirees on questions and issues pertaining to Social Security. The training preceding the qualification exam equips these Advisors to provide guidance to clients on the many Social Security options available, and enables them to provide a trusted service to the public. Certification is accredited through the Ohio-based National Social Security Association (NSSA).
Our accredited Advisors are available to handle questions submitted to the Foundation.
Visit us at our office 312 Teague Trail, Lady Lake, Florida 32159
“The certification of our staff members is critical to our mission of supporting and educating America’s seniors,” reports AMAC President Dan Weber, “and we believe that by providing credible, unbiased information to people in, or aging into, Social Security is an important part of what the Foundation does. And, since the Foundation is a tax-exempt organization relying solely on contributions from the public to operate, there is no charge for this valuable service.”
Military service is covered in the AMAC Foundation publication “Ask Rusty: What’s So HArd About Social Security?” Here’s an excerpt from the section dealing with this topic:
Since 1957, all active duty military service members have participated in the Federal Social Security program so, just as in the private sector, those in the military paid (or now pay) into Social Security via a payroll (FICA) tax. And, just as in the private sector, military earnings during years of service are included in a veteran’s lifetime earnings record for purposes of determining their Social Security benefit. Essentially, military pay is the same as a private sector salary for Social Security purposes. Except for one very special service-related accommodation.
Special Extra Earnings for Military Service
Those who served in the military between 1957 and 2001 are provided with “special extra earnings for military service,” which may help them qualify for Social Security benefits or possibly increase the amount of their benefit. These extra earnings are credited to a veteran’s actual military pay record, effectively increasing their recorded military pay for each year of military service between 1957 and 2001 for purposes of computing their Social Security benefit or their eligibility for benefits. The amount of extra earnings applied is a maximum of $1200 per year of service, computed as follows:
For service years 1957 – 1977, the veteran will get $300 additional earnings credit for each calendar quarter of active duty military service.
Veterans who served between 1940 – 1956 did not pay Social Security taxes but may nevertheless receive an earnings credit of $160 for each month of honorable military service. There are some exceptions, for example if the veteran is receiving any type of Federal pension (e.g., a military pension) for those service years.
For service years 1978 – 2001, the veteran will get an additional $100 of earnings credit for each $300 in active duty military pay, to a maximum of $1200 per year of service.
For service years prior to 1967, these special extra earnings will be added to a veteran’s military pay record when they apply for Social Security benefits. For service years between 1968 and 2001, no action is necessary because the extra earnings were automatically applied to their military earnings. And for military service after 2001, no special extra earnings are applied.
“Special extra earnings for Military Service” are earnings credits applied to a veteran’s military pay record. These credits are not extra dollars added to a veteran’s Social Security benefit.
Note that when applying for Social Security benefits, the application process includes questions about military service, so it’s normally not necessary for veterans to provide Social Security with a copy of their military form DD-214.
And, to address a question which often arises at our Social Security Advisory Service, since SS FICA taxes are withheld from the pay of military service members, pensions for service in the U.S. military are not subject to either the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) or the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
Following is an Ask Rusty article which addressed a question about these “special extra earnings for military service:”
 “Inactive” military duty (such as weekend drills in the Reserves) has been covered by Social Security since 1988.
 Those who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980 must have completed at least 24 months or their full tour of active duty service to be eligible (except in special circumstances).
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