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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 18133
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My wife retired on a State Teacher pension in June of 1981.

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My wife retired on a State Teacher pension in June of 1981. She was then supported by me at least 90% and has continued to be so supported to this date. According to Social Security Administration Publication No. 05-10007 ICN 451453 she is exempt from offset under her spousal Social Security benefits. Is this true? If so, how far can a claimant claw back benefits incorrectly offset.


 


We are preparing to file form SSA-561-U2 "Request for reconsideration" pursuant to a pending increase in offset due to "cost of living increase" in wife's State pension benefit.  We will request full elimination of all statute refundable offsets since 1983, the year for which husband first filed for social security benefits.


 


Any legal suggestions appreciated.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.


Why do you think that your spouse is exempt from Government Pension Offset?


Did she work where Social Secuity taxes were deducted from her pay? Does she fall under any one of the exemptions below?

"Some individuals are exempt from the offset. Generally, your Social Security benefits as a spouse, widow or widower will not be reduced if you:

  • Are receiving a government pension that is not based on your earnings; or
  • Are a federal (including Civil Service Offset), state or local government employee whose government pension is based on a job where you were paying Social Security taxes; and
    • you filed for and were entitled to spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefits before April 1, 2004;
    • your last day of employment (that your pension is based on) is before July 1, 2004; or
    • you paid Social Security taxes on your earnings during the last 60 months of government service. (Under certain conditions, fewer than 60 months may be required for people whose last day of employment falls after June 30, 2004, and before March 2, 2009.)"
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, the applicant paid zero social security taxes during her 14 yrs of teaching and membership in the State Retirement System. You have correctly quoted part of SSA Publication No. 05-10007, ICN 451453.


BUT, where you stopped it goes on to say:


 


"Also, there are other situations where Social Security benefits as a spouse, widow, or widower will not be reduced, for example, if you:


 


*Received or were elegible to receive a federal, state or local government pension before July 1, 1983, and were receiving one-half


support from your spouse"


 


Is this something we have missed all these years? -- or are there conditions precedent to qualifying under the special situation outlined above?


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Thank you for the information. I am sorry that I missed the portion that you cited:

.

No, the applicant paid zero social security taxes during her 14 yrs of teaching and membership in the State Retirement System. You have correctly quoted part of SSA Publication No. 05-10007, ICN 451453.

BUT, where you stopped it goes on to say:

"Also, there are other situations where Social Security benefits as a spouse, widow, or widower will not be reduced, for example, if you:

*Received or were elegible to receive a federal, state or local government pension before July 1, 1983, and were receiving one-half

support from your spouse"

Is this something we have missed all these years? -- or are there conditions precedent to qualifying under the special situation outlined above?

Response: There are no conditions precedent. However, the claimant must provide evidence to Social Security Administration of eligibility under the special situation by providing pension and spousal support information and documentation.

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