I'm preparing for retirement and I created an account with the Social Security office. I checked my earnings record, and for four years in the late 80's, they show me earning $0. I was a graduate student then and on stipend ($10K-ish per year) and most certainly had FICA (and fed and state taxes) withheld.
SSA says to contact them if there are any errors. If I do that, I'll have to prove that FICA was withheld during those years. I know I have my old tax returns going back to the 70's somewhere, but I sure can't find them. The question is: How else can I prove this?
I know I can request transcripts of old returns (online or by mail) but I don't know that those returns would have copies of the old W-2's showing the FICA withholding. If the SSA has the info wrong, I can't really go to them for the info.
Advice here is really appreciated, since those years are counting in the 35 years. I was a student for 12 years, and some years my income was $200. It'd be nice to replace those years with some $10K years.