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Ask Stephanie O Joy, Esq Your Own Question
Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13281
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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On may 24,2014 I became 62 and retired in june,2014. In

Customer Question

On may 24,2014 I became 62 and retired in june,2014. In jan.2016 the ss admn. took $545 from my first ck. because they said I made too much money in the first 5 months of 2014. Is this legal?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 9 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.

Yes, it is never a good idea to take early retirement if you are still working. SSA can take $1 for every $2 earned over $15,720 from your retirement benefit. Once you turn age 66, you can work and earn as much income as you want as you are not penalized for working after full retirement age. To answer your question yes SSA can deduct from your benefit income earned from working over $15,720.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I didn't retire until june,2014 because I was not elegible until then. So u r saying I cannot make money before then?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Age 62 you are eligible for early retirement, SSA wants to discourage SS applicants from taking early SS when they are working and making a significant amount of income. If you make less than $15,720 then you will not have your SS benefit reduced. When you turn age 66, you will not longer be penalized for any income earned and have your benefit reduced by SS. Unfortunately you had 12 months to make a 1 time election to rescind your benefit and repay everything that SS paid you (this is no longer possible as it has been more than 1 year). If you have significant income, it does not make sense to to take early retirement usually and permanently reduce your SS benefit (from the early retirement penalty). You are stuck at this point if you continue to work and your SS benefit will continue to be reduced.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Just checking back in, did you have any further questions?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ur answer was wrong! I would like my money back! There is a first year exception which u should have known about! I found out about this on ss site and have already got my money back.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I never was compensated in the first place as you never rated my answer, I'm sorry you are dissatisfied. I will opt out and open your question up to others.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 9 months ago.

Hmm, that would be rocket speed for the SSA - it typically never corrects its own mistakes (if any) that involve paying a consumer what it owed him, without several weeks to several months of obnoxious delay. So, kudos to you if that happened - strange good luck can happen.

That said, the "special" rule for early retirement is that they let you go prorated month to month in that first year - so they only count the months AFTER you start collecting, til Dec., on a month by month limit and basis, so that your earnings before you stopped working don't have to be counted - you just have to keep under the monthly limit for each month after, to be entitled to each month after. For 2016 that number is ***** as it was for 2015.

And as you may know, you CAN work in 2016, just be sure to stay under that limit or be willing to reverse the takings of the early retirement benefit - it CAN mean a higher benefit rate later, so you are not stuck with the decision to take early IF you decide you'd rather have more later,when you are actually unable to supplement it with working.

Be well!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Joy