Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

Social Security Mailbox

How Do Military Special Credits Work?

Time in uniform can boost your wage record — and perhaps your Social Security benefit

Q: If I get a military pension, will it affect my Social Security payment?

A: No. You can get both your military pension and your Social Security benefits, which will be based on your life-long earnings, including any military wage credits. While a military pension won't cut your Social Security benefits, they may be trimmed if you have a civilian government pension from a job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes.

Q: How do I apply for these special credits?

A: According to Social Security, you don't need to. They will be automatically added to your earnings when you apply for retirement or disability benefits. However, it may be wise to ask your Social Security representative whether your work record shows that credits have been added to your account. Meanwhile, you may be asked for proof of your military service.

Q: How do I get proof of my military service?

A: The DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty) is the document most often used for this purpose. To obtain this certificate, click here.

For more information, see the online publication Military Service and Social Security or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

Stan Hinden, a former columnist for The Washington Post, wrote How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire. Have a question? Check out the Social Security Mailbox archive. If you don't find your answer there, send an email to the Social Security Mailbox.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

VIDEO EXTRA

MAXIMIZE YOUR BENEFITS: Learn what you can do now to get more later.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman sitting on sofa using laptop
membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Mujer en la parte de afuera de so negocio

Free quotes for members from the AARP® Small Business Insurance Program.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Explore Your Learning Possiblities