If you have served in the military any time after 1957, whether on active duty or inactive duty for training, you have paid into social security. If you were in the military before 1957, you did not pay into social security directly; however, you still may be able to get credits toward certain social security benefits. The rules are somewhat different for inactive duty in the armed forces reserves, and national guard weekend drills: this type of service has only been covered by social security since 1988. If you served in the military, then took a civilian job, you will receive work credits for both. The total number of credits you have will determine whether you're eligible for social security. When you retire, you may be able to draw full retirement benefits from both social security and the military. Unlike a government pension, getting military retirement usually does not reduce your social security retirement check. However, if you receive social security survivors benefits, this can affect payments from a department of defense survivors benefit plan. For more information, talk to your military retirement advisor; or contact the department of defense.
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