Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   FIRE and Money (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/)
-   -   Successful Social Security Interview (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/successful-social-security-interview-93257.html)

Golden sunsets 08-11-2018 07:05 AM

Successful Social Security Interview
 
Hi all; I just wanted to report a successful (fingers crossed) Application filed for Full Social Security benefits on my own record. I had been collecting spousal since I turned 66, waiting to collect on my own record at age 70. With the 3 month advisory for advance filing in mind I made a phone appointment for yesterday, 8-10, about a month ago. I received the call at precisely the minute that the appointment was set for. The Rep asked me a series of about 15 questions and at the end of it, she said.... let me see if I can get this uploaded and accepted now. Seconds later, she told me that it had been accepted and what my check amount would be, the amount withheld for Medicare Part B, and of course the date that I would receive the first check. The new amount is to the dollar, what I had expected it to be, based on using the various calculators out there. She also noted that the new amount would be reflected on-line, but not until the month that the check is in payment of (in my case November).
Easy Peasy! This check will be a big raise for me, almost $2,000/mo. And the next check, which will be for the month of December, will reflect whatever COLA is added for the year 2019, which I've read could be upwards of 3%. Also, I don't know if it is true, but I've read that Medicare B may not be in for much of an increase. Fingers crossed. SS really seemed to have their act together, at least in my case.

athena53 08-11-2018 07:12 AM

Thanks for letting us know! I went in person to the SS office to apply for Survival Benefits because the on-line form had questions I couldn't answer (late DH had 2 previous marriages and I didn't know marriage/divorce dates). The person who interviewed me was well-informed and helpful. They seem to have good people working there,

Tadpole 08-11-2018 07:25 AM

That certainly helps with my angst. I need to switch from spousal to my own age 70 and have dreaded having to do it on the phone. My local SSA office always sends you home to await a call. It's good that they give you the benefit amount so you can catch any problems before they occur. I got my birth certificate out of the safety deposit in case it was needed. Did the questions need for you to know things off your credit report?

Golden sunsets 08-11-2018 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tadpole (Post 2091764)
That certainly helps with my angst. I need to switch from spousal to my own age 70 and have dreaded having to do it on the phone. My local SSA office always sends you home to await a call. It's good that they give you the benefit amount so you can catch any problems before they occur. I got my birth certificate out of the safety deposit in case it was needed. Did the questions need for you to know things off your credit report?

The questions were all easy to answer and none related to my credit report. If I was not already collecting (spousal benefits) which required an application there might have been more questions and more required proof, but as I was already in the system, there were no documents required. I should have also mentioned that there will be a follow up report from SS with documentation of the numbers that support the new amount, with the request that the recipient look over their earnings record and other info, for any inaccuracies. I could tell looking on line that their info is correct, but I will be expecting a report by mail.

With respect to dread at doing it over the phone, or in person, the first time I applied, I did it in person (but had set up a specific appointment time). This time I called in advance as I had the last time, but they gave me the option of a phone appointment, which I chose, and they gave me a verbal time and followed up with two letters, two e-mails and two phone calls to remind me. A bit of overkill, but nothing too annoying.

The other thing that somewhat surprised me, was the rep that called was from my local office. I don't think it much mattered. She was professional, knowledgeable and curtious.

I had already done the calcs on what I thought the amount was going to be and as I didn't work last year, their system was up to date. If you had earnings in 2017, the system has not been updated yet, so the amount may change.

The other thing I forgot to mention, is she told me the system was telling her that my new Medicare Card had been processed yesterday as well and is on its way, which led me to ask if I am going to receive a replacement for that new card, as my medicare benefits will now change to being on my own record. She said she did not know, as the new Medicare numbers are no longer associated with the SS number of the person your benefits are paid under. I may not get yet another new card, as there may be no need for a new number. It doesn't matter really, but I'll be on the lookout for one, possibly 2 new medicare cards.

Tadpole 08-11-2018 08:40 AM

Quote:

The other thing I forgot to mention, is she told me the system was telling her that my new Medicare Card had been processed yesterday as well and is on its way, which led me to ask if I am going to receive a replacement for that new card, as my medicare benefits will now change to being on my own record. She said she did not know, as the new Medicare numbers are no longer associated with the SS number of the person your benefits are paid under. I may not get yet another new card, as there may be no need for a new number. It doesn't matter really, but I'll be on the lookout for one possibly 2 new medicare cards.
I had wondered about the cards too because I stupidly got in a fight with them about giving me a different Medicare card when I went on spousal. (I hope I didn't get myself black listed.) If the cards don't have the SS number and aren't filed under (linked to) SS numbers, there should be one Medicare number but if spousal still means you are eligible for both via the spouse's eligibility, there may be two different new numbers. I look at it as being filed under my husband and finally getting my own file folder. WA state is on the last list to get new cards so I don't think I will need to worry about it.

NYEXPAT 08-11-2018 08:46 AM

I filed online at 62, 3 years ago from Lima,Peru. I was filing for myself and two children. The woman called my cell phone as I was walking down the street and asked a couple of questions about myself, my wife and children. Told me to drop off the birth certificates of my children at the US Embassy. I received one other call about a week later asking if my wife wanted benefits as well. I told the woman she was not qualified as she does not have a SS#. I had to wait three weeks to get a letter for my wife to decline the benefits. It was all really simple and the money shows up in Peru like clockwork on the 3rd of every month!

Huston55 08-11-2018 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tadpole (Post 2091802)
I had wondered about the cards too because I stupidly got in a fight with them about giving me a different Medicare card when I went on spousal. (I hope I didn't get myself black listed.) If the cards don't have the SS number and aren't filed under (linked to) SS numbers, there should be one Medicare number but if spousal still means you are eligible for both via the spouse's eligibility, there may be two different new numbers. I look at it as being filed under my husband and finally getting my own file folder. WA state is on the last list to get new cards so I don't think I will need to worry about it.

Can you clarify what you mean? AFAIK, there’s no such thing as ‘spousal Medicare’ eligibility. You’re eligible @ 65 yo on your own record or you’re not, unless you qualify for disability.

Bestwifeever 08-11-2018 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Huston55 (Post 2091834)
Can you clarify what you mean? AFAIK, there’s no such thing as ‘spousal Medicare’ eligibility. You’re eligible @ 65 yo on your own record or you’re not, unless you qualify for disability.

Not sure if this is what you’re saying isn’t available, but yes there is Medicare spousal: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

Back to OP—yay! I will switch to my own benefits in two years (but not for such a nice payout as you’ve earned!). I started Medicare at 65 of course and had a card with my own SS number, but had not filed for SS itself. When I filed for SS on spouse’s record at 66, I received a Medicare card with spouse’s SS number. Now I have received the new SS-free Medicare card—will be interesting to see if I keep that in two years.

Did your payment week change? With spousal I receive deposits on the third Weds of each month, but I think that will change to the second Weds, based on my birthday, when I refile.

Chuckanut 08-11-2018 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Huston55 (Post 2091834)
Can you clarify what you mean? AFAIK, there’s no such thing as ‘spousal Medicare’ eligibility. You’re eligible @ 65 yo on your own record or you’re not, unless you qualify for disability.

When you get SS benefits as a spouse or surviving spouse or divorced spouse, they change the SSN on your medicare card to that of the account you are getting SS benefits.

My medicare card currently has my ex-wife's SSN on it because I am collecting benefits under her account.

Tadpole 08-11-2018 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Huston55 (Post 2091834)
Can you clarify what you mean? AFAIK, there’s no such thing as ‘spousal Medicare’ eligibility. You’re eligible @ 65 yo on your own record or you’re not, unless you qualify for disability.

No I wasn't saying that you qualified via your spouse's Medicare or, at least, I didn't mean to say that. I was describing how they link your Medicare to the SS number under which you currently are collecting SS benefits. (This is probably because that is where the deduction occurs.) Anyway I started with a Medicare card at age 65 under my SS number but didn't sign up for SS. When I applied for restricted application with spousal benefits only they changed my Medicare number to a number that was spousal under my husband's SS number. I argued about the change because I was fresh off a broken wrist with many hospital bills under my Medicare number (the one that went away). The woman hung up on me when I didn't back down. It wasn't a pleasant conversation (my fault in retrospect). Sorry if I misled. I don't really know anything about spousal, as in stay-at-home-spouse, Medicare eligibility.

Huston55 08-11-2018 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bestwifeever (Post 2091843)
Not sure if this is what you’re saying isn’t available, but yes there is Medicare spousal: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

Got it, thanks!

So, spouses are eligible for Medicare based on their spouse’s work record under certain conditions but, only after reaching age 65.

W2R 08-11-2018 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden sunsets (Post 2091760)
Hi all; I just wanted to report a successful (fingers crossed) Application filed for Full Social Security benefits on my own record. I had been collecting spousal since I turned 66, waiting to collect on my own record at age 70. With the 3 month advisory for advance filing in mind I made a phone appointment for yesterday, 8-10, about a month ago. I received the call at precisely the minute that the appointment was set for. The Rep asked me a series of about 15 questions and at the end of it, she said.... let me see if I can get this uploaded and accepted now. Seconds later, she told me that it had been accepted and what my check amount would be, the amount withheld for Medicare Part B, and of course the date that I would receive the first check. The new amount is to the dollar, what I had expected it to be, based on using the various calculators out there. She also noted that the new amount would be reflected on-line, but not until the month that the check is in payment of (in my case November).
Easy Peasy! This check will be a big raise for me, almost $2,000/mo. And the next check, which will be for the month of December, will reflect whatever COLA is added for the year 2019, which I've read could be upwards of 3%. Also, I don't know if it is true, but I've read that Medicare B may not be in for much of an increase. Fingers crossed. SS really seemed to have their act together, at least in my case.

How EXCITING!!!!! Oh, I am SO happy for you. I did the same thing at age 70, although I did it online since the local SS office is pretty awful according to Frank. I did get a phone call from a SS employee in Chicago a few weeks afterwards just to touch bases and she was very nice. My higher deposits began in July, and like yours, they are to the dollar what I expected them to be. Honestly it is like a dream come true to see a deposit like that land in my checking account just as I hoped and planned. I am so glad that I delayed until age 70 before claiming my own SS. :dance:

As for the Medicare cards, my 70th birthday was June 8th and I got my new Medicare card (without a SS#) a few days after that. I didn't get a second one without a SS# so I have been using that one, and so far, so good.

MichaelB 08-11-2018 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Huston55 (Post 2091857)
Got it, thanks!

So, spouses are eligible for Medicare based on their spouse’s work record under certain conditions but, only after reaching age 65.

Technically, eligibility for SS is what determines eligibility for Medicare. A spouse with no work record is eligible for SS when married to a spouse that is eligible for SS, and that guarantees Medicare for each.

Golden sunsets 08-11-2018 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bestwifeever (Post 2091843)
Not sure if this is what you’re saying isn’t available, but yes there is Medicare spousal: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

Back to OP—yay! I will switch to my own benefits in two years (but not for such a nice payout as you’ve earned!). I started Medicare at 65 of course and had a card with my own SS number, but had not filed for SS itself. When I filed for SS on spouse’s record at 66, I received a Medicare card with spouse’s SS number. Now I have received the new SS-free Medicare card—will be interesting to see if I keep that in two years.

Did your payment week change? With spousal I receive deposits on the third Weds of each month, but I think that will change to the second Weds, based on my birthday, when I refile.

I had the exact same experience with the original medicare card, which I received once I turned 65 and lasted until I filed spousal at age 66. I then received a new Medicare card which was my husband's SS# with a different letter at the end, designating Spousal.

Yes, the spousal benefit option, which no longer exists, was very nice (not that big a number as my DH was a federal employee for most of his career with a federal pension and only in the private sector for about 15 years and subject to the WEP reduction). But it made it a lot easier to wait the 4 extra years, slowly counting down to when I could exchange my skinny checks for fat checks :dance:

My payment date did not change, (the second Wednesday of the month) but that could be because my DH's and my birthdate are the same - the 1st of the month, which by the way means that I collect an extra month, as per English Law, the government assumes you to have reached your new birthyear on the day prior to your birthday. So if your birthday is on the 1st, you have achieved your new birthyear on the 30th or 31st of the prior month and thus due a payment for that month. Yay!!

Golden sunsets 08-11-2018 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by W2R (Post 2091862)
How EXCITING!!!!! Oh, I am SO happy for you. I did the same thing at age 70, although I did it online since the local SS office is pretty awful according to Frank. I did get a phone call from a SS employee in Chicago a few weeks afterwards just to touch bases and she was very nice. My higher deposits began in July, and like yours, they are to the dollar what I expected them to be. Honestly it is like a dream come true to see a deposit like that land in my checking account just as I hoped and planned. I am so glad that I delayed until age 70 before claiming my own SS. :dance:

As for the Medicare cards, my 70th birthday was June 8th and I got my new Medicare card (without a SS#) a few days after that. I didn't get a second one without a SS# so I have been using that one, and so far, so good.

Thanks W2R; I had followed your posting with interest because your situation was so close to my own. AS I said to Bestwifeever, it helped a lot to get something over the past nearly four years, in exchange for being so patient:angel:

Oh and BTW, even though my November check is nearly $2,000 larger, my Medicare premium which has been $125 all year, compared to DH's $134, does not change for the November payment. I would have thought the hold harmless provision would not continue to apply with the bigger check. But... if we get the 2.9% or so Cola, that is being predicted, I expect that my December or January check will reflect the full new rate. Small price to pay!

W2R 08-11-2018 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden sunsets (Post 2091879)
Thanks W2R; I had followed your posting with interest because your situation was so close to my own. AS I said to Bestwifeever, it helped a lot to get something over the past nearly four years, in exchange for being so patient:angel:

Yes, it was a wonderful help for me too! I owe it all to this forum since I didn't know that I could get divorced spousal SS until Katsmeow told me about it here.

My own SS is $555 more than my divorced spousal, not as much different as yours will be. Still, even $555 extra is such a totally over-the-moon thrill to see arriving in my bank account every month. ;D

I did see the post by someone pointing out that now that my ex is my late ex, I could get survivor's benefits which might be more than my own SS. I just can't possibly deal with that right now. I am still trying to cope with the severe emotional shock of his unexpected, horribly gruesome death. Maybe later, or maybe I will just let it be. Some things are just not worth fighting for. Meanwhile I am doing very well with SS on my own record and feeling very happy about that.

Golden sunsets 08-11-2018 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by W2R (Post 2091884)
Yes, it was a wonderful help for me too! I owe it all to this forum since I didn't know that I could get divorced spousal SS until Katsmeow told me about it here.

My own SS is $555 more than my divorced spousal, not as much different as yours will be. Still, even $555 extra is such a totally over-the-moon thrill to see arriving in my bank account every month. ;D

I did see the post by someone pointing out that now that my ex is my late ex, I could get survivor's benefits which might be more than my own SS. I just can't possibly deal with that right now. I am still trying to cope with the severe emotional shock of his unexpected, horribly gruesome death. Maybe later, or maybe I will just let it be. Some things are just not worth fighting for. Meanwhile I am doing very well with SS on my own record and feeling very happy about that.


Oh my goodness - I'm so sorry for your Loss. Even though you were no longer married, it must be a shock. When the time is right, I wouldn't hesitate to check if there is a bigger benefit available. But wouldn't you have some idea of the amount based on what you were collecting under divorced spousal? EDITED to add. On second thought your instincts are a good guide.

Momcpa 08-11-2018 08:51 PM

I signed up for my benefits based on my own work record last Spring and received my first check in July. I did it online, then got repeated calls from someone in the Chicago office with questions. I was cautious about this maybe being a scam call. I went to the local office and they assured me that it was legitimate. Online went quite smoothly.

Yesterday my husband had me sign up online for his spousal benefits to start in October (his FRA month). I went thru the form as I had for mine, but couldn't find exactly where to indicate it was for spousal benefits. I call Soc Sec (was put on permanent HOLD). Hung up and called the local office. She didn't know where that was on the online form either. She had an appointment she had to meet with, so she handed me off to someone after she explained my question to the new person. That person put me on permanent hold and never spoke one word to me. I eventually found the correct box to check on my own (I think!) and submitted his application. I received an email confirming they received it, and that I might be getting a call if they have any questions.

Except for that one question, I think the on-line form is quite simple to use. I DID learn that even though I waited to received my benefits a few months past my FRA (more $$), my husband's spousal benefits will be based on the original amount I would have received, and NOT the larger amount due to me waiting a few extra months.

pompanobeach 08-12-2018 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYEXPAT (Post 2091806)
I filed online at 62, 3 years ago from Lima,Peru. I was filing for myself and two children. The woman called my cell phone as I was walking down the street and asked a couple of questions about myself, my wife and children. Told me to drop off the birth certificates of my children at the US Embassy. I received one other call about a week later asking if my wife wanted benefits as well. I told the woman she was not qualified as she does not have a SS#. I had to wait three weeks to get a letter for my wife to decline the benefits. It was all really simple and the money shows up in Peru like clockwork on the 3rd of every month!



God Bless America! Nice!

Golden sunsets 08-12-2018 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Momcpa (Post 2092096)
I signed up for my benefits based on my own work record last Spring and received my first check in July. I did it online, then got repeated calls from someone in the Chicago office with questions. I was cautious about this maybe being a scam call. I went to the local office and they assured me that it was legitimate. Online went quite smoothly.

Yesterday my husband had me sign up online for his spousal benefits to start in October (his FRA month). I went thru the form as I had for mine, but couldn't find exactly where to indicate it was for spousal benefits. I call Soc Sec (was put on permanent HOLD). Hung up and called the local office. She didn't know where that was on the online form either. She had an appointment she had to meet with, so she handed me off to someone after she explained my question to the new person. That person put me on permanent hold and never spoke one word to me. I eventually found the correct box to check on my own (I think!) and submitted his application. I received an email confirming they received it, and that I might be getting a call if they have any questions.

Except for that one question, I think the on-line form is quite simple to use. I DID learn that even though I waited to received my benefits a few months past my FRA (more $$), my husband's spousal benefits will be based on the original amount I would have received, and NOT the larger amount due to me waiting a few extra months.


I expect that the follow up from SS will include the need to provide documentation of your marriage and yes his benefits are based on your benefit at your FRA, enhanced by cola's since that date.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.