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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  associate attorney
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When I retired from the federal gov't under csr, I was told

Customer Question

when I retired from the federal gov't under csr, I was told by opm (4times)that my ss would not be reduced by the offset rule because my ss was from my late husband . They told me several times that the offset only applies to my ss from jobs that I has before joining the gov't. Also the offset would not apply to me because my husband was a vet.
I am worried that this may not be correct and that ss may ask for some of the money back, which I can not pay back. My ss is about $1,500 a month and my pension is about $2,400 a month.When I retired (I had to retire because of a medical condition) and this
retirement was from my home after being on medical leave for about 4 years( I was hit by a car and it has been a long road to recovery) On the phone I asked opm and the retirement specialist about reporting the offset, they told me they were not going to report anything to ss because the offset did not apply to me. They also told me not to report it because,"ss does not understand the offset rules". My first check arrived in June but was an interm check not covered under ss rules. I have been receiving these checks for about 6 months, what should I do? I do not want to cheat ss or be responsible for paying monies back. Please help me .
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

If you receive a pension from a government job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes, some or all of your Social Security spouse's, widow's benefit may be offset due to receipt of that pension. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO.

The GPO will reduce the amount of your Social Security spouse's, widow's benefits by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension. For example, if you receive a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be used to offset your Social Security spouse's or widow's or benefits. If you are eligible for a $500 spouse's benefit, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 - $400 = $100).

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

(1) Are receiving a government pension that is not based on your earnings; or

(2) 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

(3) you filed for and were entitled to spouse’s or widow’s benefits before April 1, 2004;

(4) your last day of employment (that your pension is based on) is before July 1, 2004; or

(5) 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.)

It is the source of your pension that matters not the source of your Social Security. It would seem that you would be subject to the offset rules unless your pension met any of the other exceptions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer if satisfied (there should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, a good or excellent rating would be fantastic) as that is the only way I will be compensated by the site for my work. This will not cost you anything extra and this extra step would be appreciated.

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