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dylatess
dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3427
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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My Social Security benefit this year will be nearly $10 a

Customer Question

My Social Security benefit this year will be nearly $10 a month LESS than last year. I do realize there's no COLA this year--but why should my social security check shrink from last year? I'm 74 years old, and worked only two months in 2014. Please explain. I suspect there's an error in computing my social security benefit for 2016.
Thank you.
John E. Vaughan
Tulsa, OK.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

John, do you have a Medicare plan, like a supplement or an advantage plan with an medicare health insurance company?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have both Medicare (parts a and b) and a supplemental ("Medigap") plan. But I've always had those, and they didn't cause my Social Security benefit to be reduced.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Many medigap plans have actually increased this year. Do you have reason to believe yous did not? (Ours did as well). Let me know if you can double check that from where you are.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My Medigaap plan increases a few dollars every year. This year it has increased by $8. The increases have NEVER caused my Social Security benefit to decrease. But this year, the benefit letter says, I'll be getting $9 or more LESS than last year. No explanation is given. I think it's a mistake..
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I mean MY S.S. benefit will be $9 or so less PER MONTH--MORE THAN $100 LESS FOR THE COMING YEAR.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are you there, Stephanie Joy?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Yes, I am researching.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Do you pay your Medigap policy separately?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I pay my Medigap poloicy separately. Why are these questions about my supplemental health insurance relevant to my question, which was: WHY is my Social Security benefit being reduced this year? My S.S. benefit is not tied to my supplemental health insurance, is it?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Some policies are paid for via a deduction from your SS benefit amount, yes. But, you have clarified that that isn't so.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

And, for the record, I am trying to look at possible reasons for the reduction, as you requested, so I can eliminate them, leaving you with the answer as to which legitimate reason it is being reduced (so you don't waste your time appealing it), OR, the belief that there is no legitimate reason, ergo a mistake, so you can address it with the SSA.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

From your gross SS amount, is the ONLY thing taken out your 104.90 and your Part D (if you have part D)?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the only deductions from my Soc.Sec. benefit are the $104.90 for Medicare and $63.80 for the drug plan.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Incidentally, just so you know and are not concerned in the future, you work income at any time after you hit your FRA, would not reduce your SS benefit. You are free to earn as much as you wish. (Very high earnings, however, can increase your Medicare premium, thereby reducing your NET payment.)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I know that about earnings.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Oh, you made a point to mention your 2014 income, ergo my comment.

Was your drug plan $63.80 last year and this year? (Sorry if I am beating a dead horse, but you'd be surprised at the things that get left out, and since I don't know you, best to ask and be sure.)

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I've already told you that my drug plan costs $63.80.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

You need to re-read my question.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

I am going to opt out - perhaps you will find easier communication with an alternative SS professional.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't knokw what my drug plan cost me last year
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

John, do you have your 1099 for 2015 yet? From the SSA?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

(I am giving this 1 last go, as it seems no one is jumping in to take over for you.)