If you’re not sure where your Social Security benefits stand, you have a way to check. Each year, you should automatically receive a personal Social Security statement three months before your birthday. It shows your year-by-year earnings and estimates of your retirement. It also shows survivors and disability benefits you and your family may be able to receive now and in the future.

If the statement doesn’t show earnings from a state or local government employer, contact them. The work may not have been covered either by a Section 218 agreement or by federal law.