(a) Generally. After the time limit for any year ends, we may correct the record of your earnings for that year if satisfactory evidence shows SSA records are incorrect and any of the circumstances in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section applies.
(b) Correcting SSA records to agree with tax returns. We will correct SSA records to agree with a tax return of wages or self-employment income to the extent that the amount of earnings shown in the return is correct.
(2) Tax returns of self-employment income—(i) Return filed before the time limit ended. We may correct the earnings record to agree with a tax return of self-employment income filed before the end of the time limit.
(ii) Return filed after time limit ended. We may remove or reduce, but not increase, the amount of self-employment income entered on the earnings record to agree with a tax return of self-employment income filed after the time limit ends.
(iii) Self-employment income entered in place of erroneously entered wages. We may enter self-employment income for any year up to an amount erroneously entered in SSA records as wages but which was later removed from the records. However, we may enter self-employment income under this paragraph only if—
(A) An amended tax return is filed before the time limit ends for the year in which the erroneously entered wages were removed; or
(B) Net earnings from self-employment, which are not already entered in the record of your earnings, were included in a tax return filed before the end of the time limit for the year in which the erroneously entered wages were removed.
(c) Written request for correction or application for benefits filed before the time limit ends—(1) Written request for correction. We may correct an earnings record if you or your survivor files a request for correction before the time limit for that year ends. The request must state that the earnings record for that year is incorrect. However, we may not correct the record under this paragraph after our determination on the request becomes final.
(2) Application for benefits. We may correct an earnings record if an application is filed for monthly benefits or for a lump-sum death payment before the time limit for that year ends. However, we may not correct the record under this paragraph after our determination on the application becomes final.
(d) Transfer of wages to or from the Railroad Retirement Board—(1) Wages erroneously reported. We may transfer to or from the records of the Railroad Retirement Board earnings which were erroneously reported to us or to the Railroad Retirement Board.
(e) Other circumstances permitting correction—(1) Investigation started before time limit ends. We may correct an earnings record if the correction is made as the result of an investigation started before, but completed after the time limit ends. An investigation is started when we take an affirmative step leading to a decision on a question about the earnings record, for example, an investigation is started when one SSA unit asks another unit to obtain additional information or evidence. We will remove or reduce earnings on the record under this paragraph only if we carried out the investigation as promptly as circumstances permitted.
(2) Error apparent on face of records. We may correct an earnings record to correct errors, such as mechanical or clerical errors, which can be identified and corrected without going beyond any of the pertinent SSA records.
(5) Less than correct wages on SSA records. We may enter wages paid to you by an employer for a period if no part of those wages or less than the correct amount of those wages is entered on SSA records.
(6) Wage payments under a statute. We may enter and allocate wages awarded to you for a period as the result of a determination or agreement approved by a court or administrative agency that enforces Federal or State statutes protecting your right to employment or wages.
[44 FR 38454, July 2, 1979, as amended at 57 FR 21600, May 21, 1992]