Veterans and military service members play a crucial role in American life. Their efforts and sacrifices – including even the ultimate sacrifice of life – enable our country to remain one of the best. For their commitment, veterans should be praised by their peers and compensated fairly for dedicating their time to serving our country. Although there are a variety of benefits available to Veterans – including veterans disability benefits – former military members may also qualify for Social Security.
Veterans, Taxes & Qualifying for Social Security
Military service members pay taxes just as any other civilian employee pays income taxes. Currently, service members pay a 6.2% Social Security tax on up to $117,000 of their earnings. Those who earn more pay an additional 0.9%. Military members also pay a Medicare tax rate of 1.45% of all earnings. Because Social Security is a tax-funded federal program, individuals applying for benefits must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain period of time. Military members pay these taxes, and often qualify for various Social Security benefits.
The amount of work credits taxpayers earn and need to qualify for Social Security changes each year and with each individual case. For 2014, individuals earn 4 credits if they earned at least $4,800. The amount of credits you need to qualify will depend on factors such as your age and the type of benefits you are seeking. No individual needs more than 10 years of work.
Social Security benefits are influenced by an individual's earnings averaged over their working lifetime. This means that the higher the earnings, the higher the benefit. In some cases, veterans may also have special earnings credited to their military pay record, which can then be used to qualify for Social Security or increase the benefit. You can visit the Social Security Administration website for more information about military service & Social Security.
If you or your loved one is a Veteran with questions regarding benefits, Social Security, and your rights, Disability Action Advocates can help. To request a FREE consultation with a Reno social security disability representative, call (888) 401-3920.