Military Service and Social Security Benefits
An individual serving in the military pays Social Security taxes just as civilian employees do. For 2004, when a person earns $ 3,600 they have earned one year of work credit toward qualification for social security benefits. The benefit amount that a person receives is tied to the amount of his earnings, which are averaged over his working lifetime.
Military personnel who are on active duty or active duty for training are credited with special earnings that can help the individual qualify for social security benefits or increase the amount of such benefits. However, after 2001 the Social Security Administration no longer provides extra credits for active duty. A different special earnings credit is allotted to military personnel who served between 1940 and 1956 because military personnel did not pay Social Security taxes until 1957. The receipt of this credit is conditioned upon either 1) the veteran being honorably discharged after more than three months of service, or being released due to an injury received in the line of duty, or 2) an individual applying for survivors benefits and the veteran died while on active duty.
Normally, the receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits hinges on an individual’s residency within the United States. If he leaves for more than thirty days, he is longer eligible for such benefits. However, a child may still receive SSI benefits if he resides with a parent who is a member of the military assigned to permanent duty outside the United States.
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