Hi Richard, thank you.
With regard to your post:
"My wife worked at various jobs before & while we were married then she entered the state of Texas as an elementary teacher for 25 years. I am 73 collecting SS and she is retired collecting Texas state teachers retirement. ---- Excellent.
"Since she has paid into SS before she should be able to collect both SS & TX state teachers retirement. ------ Yes, this is no problem because you indicate that she worked for more than 10 years. That means she likely earned at least the minimum 40 quarterly credits to become insured for SSR - albeit the rate would be low, but it is something anyway.
Other retired teaches are doing so. How should go about this> Richard ------ She need ONLY apply. She is old enough. Note that any estimate she may have had on prior annual SS earnings statements with regard to what her benefit would be likely failed to consider her accurate lifetime earnings and so is likely incorrect (the SSA only new about her SS earnings, not her Tx earnings, and so typically when the SSA believes someone to be a "low" lifetime earner, it gives them a welfare type of benefit calculation, using a higher percentage that the rest of the normal earners, who get a much lower rate. They do this to keep low lifetime earners off the streets in retirement. But once they get her proper information, including her Tx earning and pension, the SSA will correct that and give her the rate you and I get, the non-welfare rate (lower %). (This is also known as WIndfall Elimination
Provision, and it prevents the welfare/social % rate from being applied to non-poor earners.)
She can likely apply right online at ssa.gov (see benefits tab), but if she has trouble with the online application, which happens, she will want to head into her local SSA office.
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