Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Social Security and Me, Part 2

In Part 1, I described the reasoning and the process behind my attempt to secure spousal benefits without touching either of our primary Social Security accounts.  Apparently, the confusion I described last month exists in the Denver Claims Office right now.

I received a charming email from a Claims Specialist.  She told me that I couldn't do what I wanted to do.  She told me to do something I don't want to do.  She told me to withdraw my application immediately if I didn't want to do what she told me to do.

Did I mention that I'm not altogether sure what it was that she wanted me to do?  Her grammar left the intent open to interpretation.

I thought about it for three days.  On the fourth I wrote an email, quoting from the article which started the whole business, and adopting a cheery, non-confrontational tone.  I read it and read it and read it a third time before I hit send.

I never heard another word from her.  Instead, I received a letter from the Social Security Administration informing me that I will begin receiving my benefits starting in August. Not my spousal benefits from TBG's account.  Not in February, when I will be 65 and eligible, but in August, when I celebrate my half-birthday, and when I am still only 64 and therefore ineligible.  Just not right at all.

Calling is an exercise in frustration; being on hold is no longer an acceptable way to spend my day. But even more important than the waste of time is the genuine fear that the person to whom I'm speaking won't be any more well-informed than the Claims Specialist in Denver.

I just sent her an email, outlining the facts and asking her advice.  I'll keep you posted.  For now, let this be a public statement that it was never my intention to defraud the government.  It's not my fault; the system made me do it.

4 comments:

  1. This is so confusing! I keep thinking I understand it, but then I read another article and I'm confused again. My only hope is that when my husband applied for SS (he's coming up on 70), I was able to talk to the nice well-informed lady on the phone and tell her I plan to do the restricted application at 66 for spousal benefits, and then take mine at 70. She confirmed I would be able to do that, she also said to NOT use the website, but to call, since doing it on line frequently results in it being done incorrectly. Good luck with this.

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  2. Forward your correspondence to members of congressional subcommittees on Social Security and to Sen. McCain (doubt Flake would help but more names is good) as well as your US representative. (Senate Finance Subcommittee and House Ways and Means Subcommittee. You also could try calling these congresspeople. When you forward, include your SS correspondents in those copies too. Add these cc's to all future correspondence. Be as loud as you can! I have had much faster and much better responses when I do this. Snail mail as well as email (it's such a chore for we the people to get our government to pay attention).

    I will say that when I applied for my own SS, I took Ronni Bennet's advice. I made an appointment and went in person to the local office. Highly pleasant and helpful experience. Productive in that the woman I met with looked at all possible ups and downs of how to apply so I would get the most benefit.

    If they start your own benefit early that will reduce the benefit! Oh I am so sorry for your frustration. Hang in there.

    annie

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    Replies
    1. ....more names are good. gad

      annie

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  3. Dealing with the Government on anything is absolutely insane. I literally called for two months to Immigration and Border Control about renewing my Global Entry. I'd call and the number went to a fast busy. I finally called the TSA-pre line and got hold of someone right away. They empathized with me and gave me an Email address. Again, crickets. Then I found some obscure form to fill-out and FINALLY someone Emailed me back. All I needed was for my password to be reset so I could renew my account. So excruciatingly painful.

    I feel for you. 😟

    Megan xxx

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