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Social Security Q&A

How to Fix a Hole in Social Security Work History; Must You Buy Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance?

As more open ‘my Social Security’ accounts there are certain to be more questions for SSA to answer in this weekly Q&A

May 29, 2013 – As more senior citizens and others create personal online accounts at Social Security, there is a natural increase in questions about their records. Oscar Garcia, writing for the SSA Q&A explains what to do if you find part of your work history missing. He also has an answer for a senior wanting to know if they have to buy Medicare Part A – hospital insurance.

Question:

I created a “my Social Security” account because I wanted to get a benefit estimate.  In reviewing my work history, I noticed there was a year of work missing. How can I correct this?

Answer:

If the earnings missing from your Social Security record are for the current year or last year, you do not need to worry. These earnings are recent and we may not have recorded them, yet. However, earnings could be missing from your record for earlier years for several reasons.

Perhaps your employer reported your earnings using the wrong name or Social Security number. Maybe you got married or divorced and changed your name, but never reported the change to Social Security.

The first thing you should do is find some proof of those earnings. This proof could be a W-2 form, a tax return, a wage stub or pay slip, or any other written documents showing that you worked.

 

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If you cannot find any written documents that show your earnings, try to remember as many facts and write them down. Tell us where you worked, the name of your employer, the dates you worked, how much you earned, and the name and Social Security number you used when you worked.  

After you gather your documents, contact Social Security. We will work with you to correct your record.

Question:

Do I have to pay for Medicare Part A?

Answer:

Very few people have to pay for Part A (hospital insurance). Most people get hospital insurance when they turn 65 without having to pay for it. You qualify for it automatically if you are eligible for Social Security benefits.

There are several other ways that you can get Medicare Part A. You also qualify based on a spouse’s work, including a divorced spouse.  Others qualify because they are government employees not covered by Social Security who paid the Medicare tax. If you get Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, you will qualify for hospital insurance. If you get Social Security benefits because you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, you do not have to wait 24 months to qualify.

In addition, someone who has permanent kidney failure requiring maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant qualifies for hospital insurance if he or she has worked long enough or if he or she is the spouse or child f a worker who qualifies.

If you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to get Medicare hospital insurance by paying a monthly premium.  A person who has between 0 and 29 credits for Social Security benefit purposes, can get hospital insurance by paying a monthly premium of $441 in 2013.  A person who has between 30 and 30 credits can also get hospital insurance by paying a monthly premium of $248 in 2013.

You can read more about Medicare at http://ssa.gov/pgm/medicare.htm.

Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at Oscar.h.garcia@ssa.gov.

 

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