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.