In the United States, people do a lot to recognize and honor those who serve in the Armed Forces and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. July is an appropriate month to recognize veterans and wounded warriors, as we celebrate our nation’s independence.
On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure to award the U.S. Medal of Honor “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.”
The first Medal of Honor went to Pvt. Jacob Parrott during the Civil War for his role in the Great Locomotive Chase. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, 3,487 medals have been awarded.
Such recognition is important. Also important is awarding Social Security benefits to veterans. Earnings for active duty military service or active duty training have been covered under Social Security since 1957. Social Security also has covered inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) since 1988.
In fact, more than one out of five adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the military. Veterans and their families make up 35 percent of those receiving Social Security.
If you served in the military before 1957, you did not pay Social Security taxes, but you received special credit for some of your service.
You can get both Social Security benefits and military retirement. Generally, there is no reduction of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement benefits. You’ll get your full Social Security benefit based on your earnings.
If you’re a veteran and are planning your retirement, you’ll want to read our publication, “Military Service And Social Security” at www.socialsecurity .gov/pubs. If you are disabled and can no longer work, you may also want to read our publication, “Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors,” available at the same web address. Note that Social Security offers veterans expedited processing on their applications for disability benefits.
Also, you can learn about military service and Social Security benefits by visiting the Military Service page for wounded warriors and veterans at www.socialsecurity .gov/retire2/veterans.htm. Social Security thanks you for your service. If you have questions, our number is 1-800-772-1213. The Tyler office is at 5509 S. Donnybrook Ave.
Leo Rossler is a Social Security district manager based in Tyler.