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Earnings Record Mismatches at SSA

2013 September 23
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by Steve Perrigo

Most people probably take their Social Security earnings record for granted.  They work, pay FICA taxes, and assume that all of their wages will be used to compute their Social Security benefits when they file for retirement or disability.  The SSA calculates benefits based on the individual’s lifetime earnings, making it critical that earnings are posted timely and accurately.  Unfortunately,  a recent OIG report confirms that problems continue to exist with the accuracy of SSA earnings records.  The SSA places wage items that fail to match name and SSN records into an Earnings Suspense File (ESF).   As of 2010, the ESF contains approximately 320 million wage items equaling about $ 1.1 trillion in wages.  Although discrepancies are trending downward, the numbers below are still staggering and reinforce the need for workers to periodically review their earnings by visiting SSA – My Account.  Each item and corresponding dollar amount below represent earnings that will not be used for computing benefits, unless the edits are resolved.  This is likely to reduce Social Security benefits or potentially cause individuals to lack insured statuschart for retirement and disability.

 

 

 

 

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