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Why Was My Wife’s Claim For Social Security Spousal Benefits Denied?

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Immediately’s Social Safety column addresses questions on why spousal advantages will not be payable in some instances, potential choices when SSA withholds advantages as a consequence of an alleged overpayment and when survivor’s advantages can turn out to be obtainable. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston College and the founder and president of Financial Safety Planning, Inc.

See extra Ask Larry solutions right here.

Have Social Safety questions of your personal you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here.


Why Was My Spouse’s Declare For Social Safety Spousal Advantages Denied?

Hello Larry, My spouse filed for her Social Safety retirement profit in 2016 at 64 and I filed for a partner profit on her profit on the identical time at 66, my full retirement age. Her present profit is ~$1,175 and my PIA is ~$1,375. I’m now 70 and have filed and acquired my elevated profit. However my spouse’s software for a partner profit was denied? What am I lacking? Thanks, William

Hello William, If an individual is already drawing their very own Social Safety retirement advantages after they apply for spousal advantages, their unreduced spousal charge is calculated by subtracting their very own main insurance coverage quantity (PIA) from 50% of their partner’s PIA. An individual’s PIA is the same as their Social Safety retirement profit charge if they begin drawing their advantages at full retirement age (FRA). If the distinction is a damaging quantity, no spousal advantages are payable.

Primarily based in your description, your spouse’s PIA is outwardly nicely over half as a lot as your PIA, through which case she would not be eligible for any spousal advantages, although she might be eligible for a widow’s profit in case you predecease her. Finest, Larry


What Can I Do About Social Safety Withholding My Advantages To Recuperate An Overpayment?

Hello Larry, I’m 66.5 and began accumulating my retirement profit at 62. SSA retains saying they overpaid me. I can not get them to inform me why and after they overpaid me. They maintain lowering my advantages. Please assist me. I can not make ends meet. Thanks, Cheri

Hello Cheri, The commonest reason for Social Safety retirement profit overpayments is earnings in extra of the Social Safety earnings take a look at exempt quantity. I’ve no approach of realizing if that is what occurred in your case although.

In any occasion, it is best to have acquired a discover explaining the overpayment. In the event you did not, the one strategy to get a duplicate of the discover is from Social Safety. In case your native Social Safety workplaces are closed, the one strategy to talk with them is by cellphone or by mail.

Your choices with regard to overpayments are to a) pay the overpayment again or permit your advantages to be withheld in full till the overpayment is repaid, or b) request a decrease withholding charge, or c) file an enchantment, or d) file for waiver of the overpayment.

If you cannot get any cooperation from Social Safety, the one different factor I can counsel is to contact the workplaces of both your US congressional consultant or certainly one of your US senators. Typically inquiries made to Social Safety by members of congress on behalf of a constituent can expedite decision of the particular person’s downside. Finest, Larry


May I Have Been Getting My Deceased Husband’s Social Safety?

Hello Larry, I’m a widower and when my husband of 25 years handed in 2013 all I received from Social Safety was a onetime small dying befit. May I’ve been getting a widow’s profit? They mentioned I needed to be 60 however since I turned 60 in April, I’ve heard nothing from them. I’ve tried to come up with them however I get no response. Are you able to assist me? Thanks, Marie

Hello Marie, I am sorry in your loss. You possibly can declare widow’s advantages as early as 60, or as early as age 50 in case you’re disabled, however it is not computerized. You would wish to file an software for widow’s advantages with a purpose to probably start drawing them. The one approach to try this in case your Social Safety workplaces are closed to the general public is to use by cellphone.

Whether or not or not submitting for widow’s advantages now can be a good suggestion for you although, relies on a variety of various factors. A very powerful of these is whether or not or not you might turn out to be eligible for advantages based mostly by yourself work document, and the way a lot you’re incomes in case you are at present working.

Social Safety widow’s advantages are lowered for age in case you begin drawing them previous to your full retirement age (FRA), so in lots of instances it is smarter to not apply for widow’s advantages whenever you’re first eligible so that you just’re not caught with a completely decrease month-to-month profit charge

It’s possible you’ll wish to think about using my firm’s software program — Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner — to make sure your family receives the best lifetime advantages. Social Safety calculators offered by different firms or non-profits might present correct recommendations in the event that they had been constructed with excessive care. Finest, Larry


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