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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 36754
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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My wife is turning 66 this month. She worked periodically

Customer Question

My wife is turning 66 this month. She worked periodically over the years as a substitute teacher. She started collecting Social Security almost two years ago (based on my income).
Over the course of the years, she paid in $ 3,400 in a non taxed / retirement fund.
Today, I received a letter from Social Security that she will NO longer be getting any benefits due to her retirement payments.
We have not received any retirement funds as we have not requested any. We were told by the school retirement group that my could take a lump sum of $ 7,200 or take what she paid in $ 3,400.
I believe that because of this retirement fund of $ 3,400 or $ 7,200 we got the notice of cancellation of payments for my wife.
What to do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You are correct, as to the reason that your wife's spouse benefit has been discontinued---it is because of the lump sum payment from the teacher's fund.

Your wife's lump sum payment is treated as a government pension for WEP purposes. The union's pension plan will usually prorate the lump sum to determine a monthly amount for WEP purposes. If they did not do this, then social security has a method for determining the amount.

The termination of your wife's benefits by social security is incorrect and you will want to appeal the decision and argue that only the very minimal lump sum will be received and that social security needs to apportion that small payment over the years that your wife will be entitled to her spouse benefit. There should only be a very small decrease in her benefit based on the tiny amount of lump sum benefit she is getting.

Your wife should go to the local social security office and refer them to this following regulation that seals with lump sum calculations: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0300605364

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Kindly, remember to rate my service to you. That is how I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best this holiday season,

Doug