TN 15 (09-92)

RS 01403.040 Acceptance of Forms W-2/W-2c as Evidence of Wages


1. General

Forms W-2/W-2c must be completed as required by IRS. Employer-prepared forms which meet IRS specifications are acceptable (see RS 01403.041 and RS 01403.042).

2. Lag Acceptability

Form W-2 is accepted as evidence of lag wages if no coverage or wage issue is involved. Such an issue may be present if the Form W-2 does not show Social Security tax withheld.

3. Prelag Acceptability

Form W-2 is accepted as evidence of prelag wages provided:

  • insured status is not involved; and

  • there is no evidence that a coverage or wage issue is involved. Such an issue may be present if the Form W-2 does not show Social Security tax withheld. Refer to RS 01404.175 for policy guidelines.

4. Copies of W-2/W-2c

Forms W-2/W-2c are multiple part forms. All copies are acceptable if the requirements in RS 01403.041 and RS 01403.042 are met. See RS 01403.043 for policy on acceptable copies of Forms W-2/W-2c.

5. Form 499 R-2/W-2 for Puerto Rico

Form 499 R-2/W-2 (Withholding Statement used in Puerto Rico) is acceptable as primary evidence for years 1979 and later, but is secondary evidence for years prior to 1979.

6. Other Form W-2's

The same rule as in RS 01403.040A.5. also applies to other Form W-2's:

  1. W-2AS for American Samoa;

  2. W-2GU for Guam;

  3. W-2NMI for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands; and

  4. W-2VI for U.S. Virgin Islands.

7. “Corrected” Form W-2's

These are not acceptable as evidence of wages.

NOTE:  Prior to 1983, the Form W-2 contained a box identified as “corrected.”

8. Form W-2c

Acceptable as evidence if:

  1. used to correct wages reported for any year after 1977 in private and Federal government employment and after 1981 in State and local government employment;

  2. there appears to be no question of authenticity of the data;

  3. the form corrects information previously reported in items 13 and 14 on the W-2; and

  4. blocks (a), (b), and (c) are completed.

9. Current Year Form W-2's

Accept current year Form W-2's for work that has terminated, and assume that the Form W-2 will be reported properly to SSA.

10. Third Party Sick Pay

Accept a Form W-2 from a third party payer of sick pay if the Social Security wages shown on it plus the Social Security wages paid by the individual's actual employer agree with the wages alleged. See RS 01402.105B.2. for coverage guidelines.

11. Noncovered Employment

  1. Individuals other than employees in covered wage relationships (e.g., self-employed commissioned salesperson, ministers, etc.) may have W-2/W-2c's issued to them for income tax purposes which will not reflect Social Security wages.

  2. They are not acceptable as evidence of Social Security wages; however, they are acceptable for other purposes, e.g., for Annual Earnings Test (AET) purposes.


1. General

Develop to establish correct wages if:

  1. there is disagreement between an individual's allegations and the total of wages plus sick pay; and

  2. the PIA or deductions are affected.

2. Statements

Obtain statements from the employer and/or the third party sick payer to resolve disagreement. See RS 01403.013 and RS 01402.105B.2.

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