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Social Security HelpMe

I filed for social security income in January 2020 from my ex spouse. Later I was told by social security that my claim was applied to my social security. They said this cannot be cancelled unless my ex spouse agrees, because she filed to get my income and is now getting paid. 

I am 63.5 years old and do not want mine yet. She is 68 years old. 

I submitted paperwork to cancel my claim. After calling the social security office , I am worried I am stuck with my amount as a pre retirement age filer.  

Please help me.  
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The SS Administration's rules on "When are you entitled to divorced spouse's insurance benefits?" are given here  https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0311.html

 

Better yet, see this similar page https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourdivspouse.html which additionally says "If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years."

So, you don't need to be actively collecting SS benefits in order for the divorced spouse to collect "spousal benefits".

 

It sounds like you applied to collect spousal benefits based on your divorced spouse's SS record, the same as she was doing only based on your record. Is this so?

 

But then somehow the SS took your application to be for your own benefits based on your own SS record. If so, this could be due to your error when applying, or their error in handling the application.

 

In any case, I don't believe that your ex-spouse must "agree" to anything regarding your benefits (your own or your spousal ... but it is an interesting question, can both spouses apply for spousal benefits before getting their own? hmmm)

 

I believe that there is a period of time in which you can do a "do over" and repay any SS funds paid and start the clock again. I would have to do research to get into this.

 

But time is awasting and you need to take aggressive action on this to protect yourself and your SS benefit. I would be more assertive when speaking with SS. Call them and discuss on the phone. Make your case simple and clear. Don't ramble, be concise.

 

You may want to consult an attorney. I think you need an advocate for you. Is there any help from AARP? Can you call the AARP national office to discuss and get info/advice?

 

Time is urgent in this case.

 

Good luck.

 

 


@MontgomeryB787758 wrote:

I filed for social security income in January 2020 from my ex spouse. Later I was told by social security that my claim was applied to my social security. They said this cannot be cancelled unless my ex spouse agrees, because she filed to get my income and is now getting paid.

I am 63.5 years old and do not want mine yet. She is 68 years old.

I submitted paperwork to cancel my claim. After calling the social security office , I am worried I am stuck with my amount as a pre retirement age filer.

Please help me.

 

 

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@MontgomeryB787758 

 

Here is AARP's take on it:

 

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2016/divorced-social-security-benefits.html

 

They say (about 1/3 of the way down):

"In any event, before anything can happen, there's a "test" for your ex-spouse, too. He must be entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits. If he qualifies for those benefits even if he has not begun taking them, Social Security will allow you as the ex-wife to go ahead and take your ex-spouse benefits — providing that you've been divorced for at least two years."

 

So they're saying (as those SSA documents above do) that a person can collect SS spousal benefits based on an ex-spouse's account even if the ex-spouse is not yet collecting their own SS benefit.

 

Note that this applies to either divorced spouse, this is not a gender thing...the rules are the same for women and men.

 

Also note that someone collecting SS benefits as an ex-spouse does not in any way affect the SS benefits due to you. So your ex-spouse collecting spousal benefits does not affect your own benefit.

 

So the real issue is that "somehow" your application for benefits has become befuddled. Either through your own error or at the SS Administration. And it should behoove you to hit this hard and do not procrastinate because there's a chunk of your money at stake.

 

I am not a SS expert though and someone else may chime in if they have better information.

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@MontgomeryB787758 

 

Sorry if this appears to be belaboring things. 

 

The "Ask Larry" column is a gold mine of information on Social Security. Larry is Professor Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, an SS expert. He has regularly been on television shows for Q&A, as well as having the "Ask Larry" columns in a number of publications (including AARP in the past).

 

You can read through the list of articles on divorced spouses to see if you can gain any clarity on your situation.

 

https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/tags/divorced-spousal-benefits

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