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replied 8 years ago.
If your former employers are not able to provide the documents, then you need to request them from the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA).
The IRS can provide a copy of the W-2 for a fee of about 39 dollars that was submitted as part of a tax return for the past 3 years. They can only provide a transcript for as far back as 10 years, which does not have a copy of the W-2, but has the W-2 information. The IRS does not keep W-2's except as part of a return that was already filed. So, if you did not file a return in those years, you will have to go to the SSA for assistance.
The following instructions are taken form the IRS website:
Topic 159 - Prior Year(s) Form W-2 (How to Get a Copy of)
The IRS does not retain actual copies of Form W-2 (PDF) except as an attachment to your tax return, for prior years. However, the IRS maintains (and will provide free of charge) Form W-2 information for any purpose for the past ten processing years. The only way to get a copy of your Form W-2 from IRS is to order a copy of the entire return on Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return . and pay a fee of $39.00 per tax year.
The Social Security Administration will provide copies of Forms W-2 for retirement purposes at no charge and for other than retirement purposes for a fee.
Call 1-800-829-3676, or visit the IRS web site at www.irs.gov to obtain Form 4506. Request for Copy of Tax Return . or Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return . to order the information from the IRS.
for instructions on how to obtain wage information from the SSA.