Good morning Diane,
I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
If your husband served between 1957 to 1967, then when you apply for a spouse benefit or a survivor benefit you will need to remind social security to give him (and you) the extra credit given to military members. If he served anytime between 1968 and 2001, the extra credit was automatically added. Let me explain.
While there is a special, extra earnings amount which is added to the annual earnings of service members who since 1957 have had military service earnings for active duty, it is not a direct benefit to the retiree, but rather adds additional income to the quarterly earnings registered with social security, which indirectly increases the ultimate social security retirement benefit received by the veteran.
The income added to the earnings during the active duty year’s amounts to $300 per quarter for time served on active duty. This results in a very small increase in the full retirement benefit of the retired veteran. There is no special benefit for veterans of the Viet Nam war that served overseas (though they do get the normal military service benefit increase). The special, extra earnings amount applies to all service members who served from 1957 through 2001.
And under the rules of social security, for military service
- From 1957 through 1967, they will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
- From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
- After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.
Here is a link to the social security site which describes this extra earnings amount:
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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,