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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13283
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My wife worked at various jobs before & while we were

Customer Question

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. Since she has paid into SS before she should be able to collect both SS & TX state teachers retirement. Other retired teaches are doing so. How should go about this> Richard
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing SS law full time for 10+ years and look forward to assisting you.
How old is your wife, please?
Also, did she pay SS taxes on her Texas teaching earnings over those 25 years?
How many years did she work where she paid those SS insurance premiums (i.e. via paying SS taxes)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
69 years old. As a Texas teacher no. However as an employee in private industry she did pay into SS and also when she taught in the states of Michigan & Massachusetts she paid into SS. In Michigan she taught for 4 years & in Massachusetts for 12 years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How soon may I get a response by email. richard
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Just a moment please.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
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.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.
Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.
Your Online Social Security Professional
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to spend the extra $ on a phone call. So, your forthcoming email will be sufficient. I await your answer. Thank you, Richard (It's 1:10 PM CST - 8/10/2015)
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi Richard, I had already posted your answer, but you may have missed it. If you scroll up, you can see it, but I will repost it below in case you are having troubles. (The additional private consult is only for additional info, etc., not for your answer here :)
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.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.
Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.
Your Online Social Security Professional
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since I thought that you would be able to give me concrete SS info. regarding my wife's past employment I corresponded with you but, I see now that that's not the case as the SS office told me to contact my congressman or my attorney. Sorry to have bothered you. Please do not charge me regarding this matter. Thank you, Richard
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Richard, you are never a bother!
Just to clarify, were you under the impression that strangers, be they attorneys like myself or not, could simply invade your wife's private financial information held in confidence by the SSA? Oh goodness no. That would clearly put her at risk for damaging identity theft, a very costly invasion when inflicted by criminals. Beside, you NEVER did ask anyone here to do that, nor did we expect you to.
Had you said, please get my wife's private financial information from the SSA, in your original post, I'd have informed you that only SHE can get that, or an appointed/retained representative, such as an attorney who practices SS law (such as myself, but since I have not been retained as her attorney, I have no such authority, of course, and retaining me would take place outside of this forum, via my own SS practice, if appropriate.)
Actually, here is your question you posted of me, and it being a valid one, I took the time to assist you, based on the post you asked of me (and none other):
"Since she has paid into SS before she should be able to collect both SS & TX state teachers retirement. Other retired teaches are doing so. How should go about this> Richard"
Well, I answered that question RIchard, when I told you exactly how she goes about it.
Perhaps I shouldn't have, but I also gave you additional information that I thought would be helpful, (I did this as a courtesy) such as the fact that she may not know what her true rate of benefit is, because she had not yet provided SSA with accurate lifetime earnings information, and so the "estimate" she had was likely incorrect, due to that incorrect info all these years (in fact the estimate sheet itself explains this in clear writing, how it may be incorrect if XYZ is part of her earnings history).
As such, I would hope you would rate me positively - and I would add that I understand that you would NOT be charged additionally, as it appears you already put down the deposit for this interaction, a rating merely allows me the get credit from the company for spending time explaining for you the SS answer to the question you posed.
But in any event, a positive rating of me would be appreciated, given the above, and of course, if you need follow up, if anything is unclear with regard to the above information (I know WEP can be confusing), please just ask, I am happy to clarify further if you specify that part that is unclear.
Thank you for understanding,
SIncerely,
Stephanie O. Joy, Esq.
Your online SS professional.

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