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Call From Local Social Security Office


Papa

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I received a call late yesterday from the local social security office that was somewhat strange. I retired from civil service back in July 2010. My wife has been on SSD for a number of years. What this Lady was telling was that they made a mistake when they were working my off-set. That they should have applied me under my wife's social security, but failed to do so.

I paid my military time back, and all that has been recovered. I draw a small SS check from a side line business that I had, but do not understand why they are doing this now. Is it just to clear up their paperwork, or will I see some benefits from it?

Papa

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So, may I guess that you took a CSRS retirement?

If you are married (or were married to someone for 10 years or more), your Social Security benefits are based on either your own record of earnings for Social Security purposes, or your spouse's (or ex-spouse's) earnings for Social Security purposes. Please note that I wrote "for Social Security purposes" rather than total earnings.

Generally speaking, it is the wife who has the lower earnings SS earnings. Her SS entitlement based on her earnings would be lower than spousal benefits based on your SS earnings. However, as you didn't contribute all that much to SS because you were CSRS, I'm guessing that this would/might result in a somewhat larger SS check for you.

Make sense?

I received a call late yesterday from the local social security office that was somewhat strange. I retired from civil service back in July 2010. My wife has been on SSD for a number of years. What this Lady was telling was that they made a mistake when they were working my off-set. That they should have applied me under my wife's social security, but failed to do so.

I paid my military time back, and all that has been recovered. I draw a small SS check from a side line business that I had, but do not understand why they are doing this now. Is it just to clear up their paperwork, or will I see some benefits from it?

Papa

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Yes I took the CSRS retirement. I got a copy of the application that SS took over the phone. Apparently, I was eligible under my wife's SS number. On the app it said that I could have retired on 1 Feb 2008 (30 years) and said I would have gotten so much retirement pay. The retirement pay for 2008 I believe is incorrect, as that is the amount I got in 2010, when I retired. Darn, noow I have to worry about this.

Papa

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I don't understand why you have to worry about this.

I mean, you are currently receiving benefits based upon your own earnings, correct?

If your spousal benefit based on your wife's SS earnings is greater than your current benefit, you'll get the higher benefit, correct?

It appears to be a no-lose situation. You either won't get any more, or you'll get a higher benefit with some amount of retroactive SS benefits.

I don't see a situation for any worry, unless that makes you feel better.

Yes I took the CSRS retirement. I got a copy of the application that SS took over the phone. Apparently, I was eligible under my wife's SS number. On the app it said that I could have retired on 1 Feb 2008 (30 years) and said I would have gotten so much retirement pay. The retirement pay for 2008 I believe is incorrect, as that is the amount I got in 2010, when I retired. Darn, noow I have to worry about this.

Papa

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What I'm worried about is that they will cut my Federal retirement check. SS office said that my wife's SSD amount would not change, nor my SS from my part time business. So, what it may impact is my retirement check, but I do not see why it would. I will stop worrying about it. Thanks

Papa

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The light bulb just went off in my head. I must be getting money back. When the SS Lady called and said that they made a mistake, I should have realized it then. No Government Worker is going to tell a person that they screwed up and that they will have to pay the Government money back. They would put that in their bottom drawer, and hope that no one would find out about it.

In the letter that I got from SS, I apparently was suppose to have received benefits under my wife's SSD. The letter states that benefits should be paid at the earliest date possible. I believe the date that one can receive this type of benefit is when you are 62 or older, but this letter had the date that I could have retired Feb 2008, and the amount of my Federal Retirement. This last part has me stumbed. Why would they put that part their, since my wife's SSD has nothing to do with my retirement?

Papa

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Yes I took the CSRS retirement. I got a copy of the application that SS took over the phone. Apparently, I was eligible under my wife's SS number. On the app it said that I could have retired on 1 Feb 2008 (30 years) and said I would have gotten so much retirement pay. The retirement pay for 2008 I believe is incorrect, as that is the amount I got in 2010, when I retired. Darn, noow I have to worry about this. Papa

Remember there were no raises for 2 years during this time. So the amounts would be the same.

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