The statements, mailed to 150 million people each year, project future benefit payments, helping workers plan for retirement.
Since the 1980s, Social Security statements have been mailed each year to workers older than 25. They include a history of taxable earnings for each year - so people can check for mistakes - as well as the total amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes paid over the worker's lifetime.
The statements provide estimates of monthly benefits, based on current earnings and when a worker plans to retire. Workers can claim early retirement benefits starting at age 62. Full benefits are available at age 66, a threshold that is gradually increasing to 67 for people born in 1960 or later.
The statements are mailed throughout the year, so many people have already received them this year. Tens of millions have not.
In addition, until recently it has been possible to request an earnings statement at anytime on Social Security's website. However, Social Security has announced that "in light of the current budget situation, we have suspended the Request a Social Security Statement service."
The agency does offer a retirement estimator on its website. Workers can enter their Social Security numbers on the website and get estimates of future benefits, depending on when they plan to retire.
The website, however, does not provide the detailed earnings and payroll tax history that workers had been receiving in the mail each year.
To access Social Security's retirement estimator click here.