Can Veterans Get Social Security?

Social security card indicating retirement income
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Can military members get Social Security benefits when they reach retirement age? 

Yes, since 1957 military members who paid into the Social Security program are eligible for benefits just like civilians.

Social Security's retirement program has been a basic part of American life for more than 65 years. In a nutshell, a small amount is taken out of each of your paychecks. Over the years, you save up more money and earn 'credits'. Then after you retire, these savings are paid back to you, depending on how many credits you earned.

In addition to benefits for retired workers, Social Security also provides financial support to younger workers and their families who face a loss of income due to disability or the death of a family wage earner. Contact the nearest Social Security office if:

  • You have a disability/injury, preventing you from working for at least a year or that may lead to death.
  • You are planning to retire and are within three months of 62.
  • You are NOT planning to retire, but you are within three months of your retirement age.
  • A family member who is a worker dies.
  • You or a dependent require a kidney transplant or dialysis treatments.

Keep in mind that most of the time, benefits cannot be paid retroactively. Social Security is your money - take care of it if you want to enjoy your retirement!

If you begin collecting Social Security before you reach full retirement age your benefits may be reduced if you work and receive over a certain amount of salary annually. However, generally, your Social Security benefits will not be reduced because of your military retirement benefits, other retirement payments or investment earnings.

Contacting Social Security

  • Call the toll-free number, 800-772-1213.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the toll-free "TTY" number, 711.
  • Call or visit your local Social Security Office.

Also see: Special Military Social Security Rate

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Veteran Benefits