The amount of Social Security benefits, that is retirement benefits, disability benefits, dependency benefits, and survivor benefits, that you qualify for is calculated based on your earning record. People with greater earnings will receive greater benefits. Moreover, you must accumulate 40 credits of work to qualify- essentially 10 years of work.
Hence, it is in your best interest to make sure that Social Security has an accurate work record for you, especially if you have changed your name during your lifetime due to marriage or divorce or have a hyphenated name, as it increases the odds of an error.
You should receive your statement every year in the mail. However, if you have not been receiving your statement or would like to view an updated statement, you can obtain it online at the social security website (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/isss/main.html). You will need your name as shown on you social security card, your social security number, date of birth, place of birth and your mother’s maiden name. If you do find an error and would like assistance in getting the record corrected, our office can help.
In addition to a record of your earnings history, the statement includes an estimate of benefits available to you and family- which can be useful for planning purposes, especially if you are nearing retirement age.