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How do I know I'm getting credit for the years I worked?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) mails out a summary of your benefits each year, about three months before your birthday. You can also request one by calling the SSA (800-772-1213) and asking for a form SSA-7004, or by downloading this form.

Your statement provides a record of your earnings history, the number of credits you've accumulated to date, and an estimate of the retirement benefits available if you wait until full retirement age. Because your benefits depend on your lifetime earnings, check the statement closely to make sure all the information is accurate.