My husband and I have been getting ss benefits for several years and because of advertising on TV it has occurred to me that I may not be getting benefits that I should. I am a retired teacher in Texas and my benefits are reduced for that reason. I may be able to increase my benefits by taking half his ss b enefits instead of mine which are very small due to the teacher retirement thing. Please check into this for me and inform me by email what you think about recalculating my benefits. My telephone number is XXXXX . XXXXXXX Thank you for your help with this. XXXXXXXXXX
Thank you for using Just Answer.
I'm afraid you have misread the regulations. Your benefits per your own Social Security account are reduced by up to half of your teacher retirement pension, per the Windfall Elimination Provision (see, for example, SSA Publication 10045). (There are other limitations, usually to no more than half of your Social Security Benefits, and if you were first hired in your teaching job before 1984, or have 30 years of "substantial income" subject to Social Security.) Your benefits per your husband's Social Security account are reduced by 2/3 of your teacher retirement pension, per the Government Pension Offset (see, for example, SSA publication 10007.) There are, again, limitations, such as last having worked in a teaching job before 1984.
You may still be able to increase your benefits by taking half of his benefits (reduced by the GPO) rather than your own benefits (reduced by the WEP).
I had some typos in my reply. You are not subject to the WEP (Windfall Elimation Provision) if you were first hired in your teaching job before 1985, or if you have 30 years of "substantial income" subject to Social Security. You are not subject to the GPO if your teaching career ended by 1984.
We at Just Answer cannot get access to your Social Security records, nor do I recommend that you allow us to. If you were to provide your full earning history from Social Security records, the amount of your teacher's pension, and your age, we might be able to determine the exact reduction under the WEP. If, in addition, you were to supply your husband's complete earning history from Social Security records, and his age, it's possible that we could determine the exact benefits after the GPO. But you would be better off contacting SSA (once the government shutdown is over) to determine which option is better for you. It's possible the automated GPO and WEP estimate web pages might still be operational.