How Much Does Military Service Add To Social Security?

how much does military service add to social security?,

Key Takeaway:

  • Military service can add credits to your Social Security benefits: Active duty service members who have served after September 1950 may be eligible for extra Social Security credits to increase their retirement or disability benefits. Veterans can also receive credits for their service during certain wartime periods.
  • Military service members can receive disability benefits: Those who have been injured or become disabled as a result of their service may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits as well as military disability compensation.
  • Military retirement benefits and Social Security are separate: Military retirement pay does not affect Social Security benefits, and retirees can still receive both. However, those who receive military survivor benefits may see a reduction in their Social Security benefits.
  • Military spouses and dependents can receive Social Security benefits: Surviving spouses and dependents of military members may be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. Divorced military spouses may also be eligible for social security benefits based on their ex-spouse’s earnings record.

Are you concerned about what military service might mean for your social security benefits? If so, this blog has the answers. Join us to learn how much extra money you can expect from the government when you serve.

How Military Service Impacts Social Security Benefits

This section, titled ‘Military Service Credits for Social Security’, will help you understand how military service affects your social security benefits. It has various sub-sections. Discover the benefits you can receive from serving in the military. These include credits to your social security payments, disability benefits and retirement benefits.

How Military Service Impacts Social Security Benefits-how much does military service add to social security?,

Image credits: by James Arnold

Military Service Credits for Social Security

Military service can have a significant impact on Social Security benefits. It may add military service credits to an individual’s Social Security earnings record, thereby increasing their benefit amount. These credits are available for those who served between 1957 and 2001, and for those who served in active duty after 2001.

The credit amounts are calculated based on the length of military service, and they can be added to the Social Security earnings record. However, these credits do not affect eligibility for other veterans’ benefits or pension plans. Moreover, some individuals may choose to waive these credits if they believe it will result in a higher overall benefit amount.

In addition to military service credits, there are also special provisions for disabled veterans and their families. The disability must have occurred on or after October 1st of 1990 while on active duty status for the veteran to qualify for this provision.

To ensure that you receive all the possible Social Security benefits you deserve as a result of your military service, it is essential to review your earnings record regularly and keep track of any additional credits that may be available.

Don’t miss out on the benefits that you earned through military service – take the necessary steps to ensure that you receive all you’re entitled to from Social Security.

Being disabled in the military doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be given a purple heart, but it can guarantee you some valuable social security benefits.

Disability Benefits for Military Service Members

Military personnel can receive disability benefits if they incur injuries or illnesses while serving. These benefits vary based on the severity and duration of the disability, and can include compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. Veterans may also receive pensions for service-related disabilities.

In addition to disability benefits, military service members may be eligible for other unique forms of support, such as access to VA healthcare and educational resources. However, these benefits have specific eligibility requirements that veterans must meet in order to qualify.

It’s important to note that not all military personnel will be eligible for disability benefits or other forms of support. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis through an evaluation process conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

According to a report from, disabled veterans are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, with nearly 27% living in poverty despite their sacrifices and dedication to our country.

Retiring from the military? Don’t worry, you’ll still have Social Security to fall back on…if you can figure out how all those acronyms on your LES translate to actual dollars.

Military Retirement Benefits and Social Security

Military Service and its Effect on Social Security Benefits are Often Overlooked

Many individuals wonder how military service affects their social security benefits. Veteran retirement is a separate benefit from social security, but the two may complement one another. In some cases, veterans can receive both benefits concurrently.

It’s important to note that these benefits vary depending on an individual’s existing assets, income, and eligibility requirements of both programs. Additionally, individuals must understand how military retirement pay and disability benefits can impact their social security payments.

Remarkably Few Know How Military Pensions Interact with Social Security Benefits

Countless veterans have found themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of accessing all the different resources available to them. It comes down to adequately understanding the interconnectedness of the various components within each system.

Not long ago, congress was willing to make payment changes that would have affected concurrent receipt. However, after receiving feedback from constituent veterans organizations indicating they did not support such legislation and instead proposed alternatives like the “Fixing Concurrent Receipt Act,” lawmakers modified their original plan.

Historically speaking, service members were only allowed to use Social Security in specific cases such as serious injury or military-related disability. Congress expanded that usage under recent law changes in order for vets to qualify for either full veteran’s pensions or full Social Security payments when they retire or become eligible for disabled payments from either system quite some time ago now.

Even if your spouse is a military dependent, they can still depend on Social Security for a comfortable retirement. No pun intended.

How Military Spouses and Dependents Can Receive Social Security Benefits

Discover the solutions to learn how military spouses + dependents can receive social security benefits. Explore this section about survivor benefits and social security benefits for divorced military spouses. Understand the benefits available for military-affiliated individuals + their families.

How Military Spouses and Dependents Can Receive Social Security Benefits-how much does military service add to social security?,

Image credits: by Yuval Washington

Survivor Benefits for Military Spouses and Dependents

Military Service and Social Security Benefits go hand in hand for spouses and dependents of military personnel. Here’s how they can avail Survivor Benefits professionally.

  • Survivor Benefits include monthly payments, a one-time Death Benefit and access to health insurance.
  • In the event of the active-duty death of a Military Spouse or Dependent, monthly payments may be granted.
  • The amount of Survivors Benefit is calculated based on various factors including rank, years of service and time in retirement.
  • Survivors are also entitled to healthcare benefits through the TRICARE program.

Apart from these standard benefits, spouses who have lost their partner during military active duty are eligible for additional assistance. Moreover, applying for these benefits requires documentation such as marriage certificates, eligibility proof etc..

Pro tip: It is advisable to become familiar with Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) at the earliest possible opportunity.

Divorced military spouses: because sometimes marriage is just a battlefield with no winners.

Social Security Benefits for Divorced Military Spouses

Military Service and Divorce can both have an impact on Social Security Benefits for spouses. Military Spouses who have been divorced may still be eligible to claim their ex-husband/wife’s Social Security benefits under certain circumstances. These include being married for at least ten years, being over the age of 62 and not remarried or having a dependent child under the age of 16.

Social Security benefits paid to military personnel depend on their rank, years of service, and whether they participated in programs such as the Thrift Savings Plan. Moreover, military spouses and dependents can receive either survivor benefits or auxiliary benefits based on the veteran’s work history.

It is important to note that receiving divorce-related social security benefits does not affect the ex-spouse’s eligibility to claim their own Social Security Benefits. Thus, a divorced military spouse could receive up to half of their ex-partner’s full retirement benefit if it was higher than what they are entitled to.

A recent study revealed that in 2015, over 50% of all U.S. Veterans were aged 65 or older while Social Security provided about $60 billion in benefits to approximately 4 million veterans and survivors. This shows how crucial it is for Military Spouses – especially those who are divorced – to understand and take advantage of their potential eligibility for these benefits.

Some Facts About How Much Military Service Adds to Social Security:

  • ✅ Military service between 1957 and 2001 can add an extra $100 in Social Security benefits per month. (Source:
  • ✅ Military service may also increase the amount of retirement benefits received. (Source: Social Security Administration)
  • ✅ Military service members can also earn additional compensation through the Thrift Savings Plan. (Source: Defense Finance and Accounting Service)
  • ✅ Members of the military who served before 1980 may be eligible for additional Social Security credits. (Source: AARP)
  • ✅ The military retirement system is separate from Social Security and has its own eligibility requirements and benefits. (Source:

FAQs about How Much Does Military Service Add To Social Security?

How much does military service add to social security?

Military service between 1957 and 2001 can add extra earnings credits to your Social Security record. For every $300 in active duty basic pay earned in 1957-1977, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year for 4 years. For military service between 1978 and 2001, there are two options when it comes to Social Security benefits. You can use the same earnings credit system used for 1957-1977 service or count your military pay toward your Social Security record as you earn it like a civilian paycheck (this option is usually beneficial for service members with limited civilian work history).

What do you need to do to get credit for military service?

Service members who served between 1957 and 2001 do not need to apply for the credits. The credits will be automatically added to their Social Security record. However, service members who served after 2001 will need to make sure their military pay is reported to the Social Security Administration to get credit.

How do you report military pay to Social Security Administration?

Military pay is automatically reported to the Social Security Administration through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Therefore, no additional action is required for service members who served between 2002 and present.

What if I am already receiving Social Security benefits?

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, there is nothing you need to do to receive the extra earnings credits for military service. The credits will be automatically added to your record and could increase your monthly Social Security benefit payment.

Will military service affect my retirement age?

No. Social Security retirement age is based on the year you were born and is not affected by military service.

Are there any other benefits military service can provide for Social Security?

Yes. Military service can provide veterans and their dependents with additional benefits like disability compensation, survivor benefits, and health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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