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Old 10-21-2019, 03:17 PM   #21
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An important question about your claim... Did you wait until you were full retirement age (which I presume would be 66 for you) before you started receiving spousal benefits?? If you didn't, the benefits you've been receiving over the past umpteen years might have actually come from your own account and not a spousal benefit at all. If that's the case, there would be no big bump up coming and that might be the reason you got a denial letter. Hopefully, I'm wrong... but you still need to check that out!!
I started receiving payments on my late wife's account at 63. Ths amount received matched the amount I was to receive on her account. My Medicare ID was also based on her SSN which was linked to the SSN my SS payments are linked to. There is quite a bit of difference between spousal benefits and deceased spouse benefits in how it is determined. I hope I did everything correctly. There is always a bit of lingering doubt especially with large amounts of money involved. I don't think I will feel sure until the larger deposits start hitting my checking account, hopefully next March.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:23 PM   #22
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braumeister, I am glad you have had good experiences with the SS folks. My experience is the opposite. When I was trying to straighten out my SS identity theft issue I had AWFUL experiences with the SS employees over several months. I finally had to contact my Congressman to get my SS and Medicare straightened out. My Congressman's office was able to straighten out the mess in 1 phone call that I had been trying to get straightened out for months. The local SS office admitted that the thief who stole my SS deposit (got my SS deposit sent to the thief's bank account) was able to do it because someone at SS was negligent and did not contact me to confirm the change.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:32 PM   #23
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Go to the most rural SS office you can drive to. It will be so much easier than one in a more urban environment.
+1

That is definitely the case here. Everyone in our community avoids the big-city SS office 20 miles away and drives an additional 40 miles to an office in a nearby small town (pop. 25,000).
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:05 PM   #24
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Small town office!!! We've been there a couple times. Walked in, took a number, and waited probably less than 15 minutes each time. One time, we were able to take the number and walk up to the desk. They had a security officer each time we were there.

Good experience every time. They answered our questions, and gave us information we didn't think to ask about. DH is collecting on mine for the next few months yet. Then we hope the transition to his own goes as smoothly as all has up til now.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:03 AM   #25
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I started receiving payments on my late wife's account at 63. Ths amount received matched the amount I was to receive on her account. My Medicare ID was also based on her SSN which was linked to the SSN my SS payments are linked to. There is quite a bit of difference between spousal benefits and deceased spouse benefits in how it is determined. I hope I did everything correctly. There is always a bit of lingering doubt especially with large amounts of money involved. I don't think I will feel sure until the larger deposits start hitting my checking account, hopefully next March.
You're right!! Hopefully, my comment will end up being a minor distraction.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:50 PM   #26
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Small town office sounds like a reasonable strategy. Although Iíll admit it threw me for a minute. Thatís what happens when youíre originally from a place where your nearest county had a bit over 500 residents. And the county seat? ~150.
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:48 AM   #27
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Go to the most rural SS office you can drive to. It will be so much easier than one in a more urban environment.
Not necessarily. On 2 recent visits to an SS office in NYC, I took a number & was called within 10 or 15 minutes. The no-frills waiting area was quiet, orderly & clean, and the agents were knowledgeable, pleasant & helpful.
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:39 AM   #28
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+1

That is definitely the case here. Everyone in our community avoids the big-city SS office 20 miles away and drives an additional 40 miles to an office in a nearby small town (pop. 25,000).
Once time we went to our local SS office because DH was having trouble getting through the identity verification when opening his online SS account. The office was close. We just showed up mid morning. It was a very large brand new office, and virtually empty - maybe 5 people waiting. Iím hoping it continues to be a low wait situation.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:59 AM   #29
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Small town office sounds like a reasonable strategy. Although Iíll admit it threw me for a minute. Thatís what happens when youíre originally from a place where your nearest county had a bit over 500 residents. And the county seat? ~150.
Hah! I had the opposite reaction...I've lived on the Eastern Seaboard all my life, and I would probably have to drive at least 2 hours to not be in the suburbs of a city! And I'm used to everything being less than an hour's drive.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:21 PM   #30
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There have been lots of threads and posts noteing how easy and smooth starting Social Security payments have been for many. Not this time.




I was not sure exactly how to go about doing this with collecting on my wife's account so I called SSA a couple of weeks ago. The lady I talked to said I was not too early and I could apply by phone or in person. I said by phone. She told me someone from the local office would call to set a phone appointment in a few days. That was that so I waited for the phone call. It never came. Today I received a letter from the local SSA office informing me that my phone request for Supplemental Security Income had been denied.


It looks like I will be on the phone for a few hours tomorrow trying to straighten this out. Working with Government minions can be so much fun!


More on this saga as it develops.
Exactly the same thing happened to me. They asked me on the phone whether I wanted SSI and I said no, just regular SS. Luckily they included the telephone number of the local office on the letter. When I called the local office to make an appointment they couldn't have been nicer and also informed me that the Main SSA had screwed up everything I told them. So, do make an appointment and go in and visit your local office in person. I'm hoping that it all goes smoothly for me while there to sign up for both SS and Medicare A/B. (I'm going in because I didn't want to mail in my precious personal documents in order to apply online.)
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:06 AM   #31
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I did it online and didn’t have to mail in any documents.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:18 PM   #32
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There have been lots of threads and posts noteing how easy and smooth starting Social Security payments have been for many. Not this time.



A little back ground... I retired at 63 and began collecting Social Security on my late wife's account. I turn 70 next February so it is time to move to collecting on my own account.


I was not sure exactly how to go about doing this with collecting on my wife's account so I called SSA a couple of weeks ago. The lady I talked to said I was not too early and I could apply by phone or in person. I said by phone. She told me someone from the local office would call to set a phone appointment in a few days. That was that so I waited for the phone call. It never came. Today I received a letter from the local SSA office informing me that my phone request for Supplemental Security Income had been denied.


It looks like I will be on the phone for a few hours tomorrow trying to straighten this out. Working with Government minions can be so much fun!


More on this saga as it develops.
The people at the offices deal with this every day -- they are truly some of the most helpful gov't employees I have ever seen. Take the time to go in and work this out. If this still doesn't work out you can hire a high priced helper but if you are in the 80% that can listen and follow procedures there should be no issues, although it may take some time to resolve.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:10 PM   #33
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...Today I received a letter from the local SSA office informing me that my phone request for Supplemental Security Income had been denied.
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... there was also a letter stating that my request for SSI benefits (which I never sought) had been denied. I assumed that the SSI letter was either routine or a glitch & ignored it...
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The letter stating SSI denial is routine.

A preemptive SSI denial?

"You may or may not have requested SSI, but we are telling you now that you ain't going to get it. Don't think about. Don't even dream about it".
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:59 PM   #34
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A preemptive SSI denial?

"You may or may not have requested SSI, but we are telling you now that you ain't going to get it. Don't think about. Don't even dream about it".
I think we're talking about SSDI (which I erroneously referred to as SSI in my earlier post). To get SSDI, you have to apply for SS & it appears that whenever anyone does, they can check for SSDI too & can rule you out based on your income/work history.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:07 PM   #35
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I think we're talking about SSDI (which I erroneously referred to as SSI in my earlier post). To get SSDI, you have to apply for SS & it appears that whenever anyone does, they can check for SSDI too & can rule you out based on your income/work history.
The denial letter I received was for Supplemental Security Income which is SSI. Quite different than SSDI.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:49 AM   #36
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The denial letter I received was for Supplemental Security Income which is SSI. Quite different than SSDI.
Oops! Mine too.

I'm not really familiar with SSI but it looks like they can screen for this & advise you whether you might be eligible.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:15 PM   #37
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Today I went to the SSA office in the big city. I got there at 8:35. 7 folks in line ahead of me. Doors opened at 8:55 and everyone filed in and registered in order after security scan. I waited about 15 or 20 minutes. I told the lady I wanted to switch from my late wife's account to my own account when I turned 70 next February. She told me I would need to make an appointment because there was no one that could do that today. I told her I had a phone appointment on Dec 16 but that the lady I made that appointment through was not sure there would be enough time to have the switch happen for March. The lady at the office assured me that there was plenty of time and I should keep the Dec appointment. I then asked if she could make copies of any necessary documentation I had. She asked for my birth certificate and driver's license and took some notes on them. I asked about DD214 because the lady on the phone told me I should have that. The lady in the office said she did not need that. The good news is I was out of there before 9:30. The bad news is I did not accomplish much.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:20 AM   #38
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Bummer.

You said earlier that it was a 3-hour drive. Is that one-way or round trip?
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:23 AM   #39
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Bummer.

You said earlier that it was a 3-hour drive. Is that one-way or round trip?
Round trip. Fortunately.

I have over 6 hours into this effort including the trip, two phone calls and waiting time at the SSA office at this point.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:44 AM   #40
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My own experience was with the office in Germany, which handles the SS applicants in Europe. His letters and emails were curt and unhelpful. He asked me at one point why I put "Did Not Answer" in some fields and copied in what appeared to be a report from a database. I had to explain in detail that he was looking at a report, that I had left the field empty (as I was allowed to do) and that "Did Not Answer" was something HIS system printed for him to see. Yikes...a month or two of back and forth until my simple case (age 62 start benefits) got settled.

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