While we wait for the IRS to allow us to see past earnings on a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) once more we can rest assured that individuals are able to check and see how much they’ve made in the past and, more importantly, how much they’ve accrued towards SSA retirement.
Social Security are promoting their My Social Securityaccounts with a good deal of fervor. In this case it would appear to be the easiest way to see how much you did make in that first job all those years ago. Of course, it’s a nice curiosity to realize how easily you were bought back in the day, but it’s also fundamental for Title II beneficiaries to be fully aware of any past Trial Work Period (TWP) usage or even some consistent work at Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) that Social Security have yet to pick up on.
Another crucial reason for checking back on those old records is to make sure it does tally with your own records or recollection of how much you made and where you worked. Social Security have a leaflet specifically addressing what to do if you notice that your earnings in their records seem to be wrong. This would give the impression that it happens more than you would like to think. The agency does cite examples of how the errors could have occurred: perhaps an employer wasn’t as forthcoming as they should have been; another may have listed your name or Social Security Number incorrectly; or you may simply have got married but not changed your name with Social Security.
It all amounts to several good reasons why it’s worth casting an eye over those records every so often, although you should note that the most recent year’s worth of work won’t necessarily be listed just yet.
If you do notice a discrepancy in those past records you can read all about the steps you need to take in the leaflet here: How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record (ssa.gov)