Since August 08, 1988 SSA has provided Statements of recorded earnings and estimates of Social Security benefits to SSN holders who
request this information. Section 1143 of the Social Security Act, as amended, requires
SSA to issue such Statements automatically, without request, to all SSN holders age 25 and older who are not yet
in benefit status and for whom we can determine a current mailing address. These automatic
mailings began in October, 1999, with updated Statements issued annually after that.
SSA began phasing in this issuance program in February 1995 using the Personal Earnings
and Benefits Statements (PEBES). We started by distributing one-time PEBES to eligible
individuals age 60 and older. The mailings continued through 03/99 to increasingly
younger groups of SSN holders. Almost 75 million people age 40 and older received
their first Statements during these 5 years.
On October 1, 1999, we expanded the program to provide a PEBES to more than 135 million
eligible individuals, as defined in the legislation. These mailings continue and reached
144,882,820 in FY 2006.
In preparation for the expanded program, we enhanced the PEBES processing system to
enable us to handle the increased volume of issuances more efficiently. We also redesigned
the old PEBES document to make it shorter, easier to read and simpler to understand.
We renamed the form the Social Security Statement (no acronym).
The remainder of this subchapter describes the policies and processes we use to send
out the automatic Social Security Statements. The redesigned Statement is described in detail in subchapter RM 01310.000. An exhibit of the form is located in RM 01310.010B.
In 2006, SSA implemented changes to the Statement as a result of §419 of the Social Security Protection Act (SSPA). These changes included
the addition of the WEP and GPO paragraphs included within the Statement as well as the new one-page Statement From Social Security sent to those individuals with only non-covered earnings posted to their record.
NOTE: Automatic issuance of the Statement does not affect SSN holders’ right to request a Statement at any time. Individuals may still request Statements by completing a Form SSA-7004-SM-OP1, Request for Social Security Statement, on paper or through SSA's Internet web site (see RM 01301.014).