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Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 10815
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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MY husband passed away 2 years ago. I was told I could not

Customer Question

MY husband passed away 2 years ago. I was told I could not get his benefit as my
pension from a school district was more than his benefit. I would like to know if there is any way I can gett the money he worked for'
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 10 months ago.

Hi - I'm so sorry to have to be the messenger here, but maybe I can help you feel better that there IS a government pension offset and help you understand how it works:

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If you receive a pension from a federal, state, or local government based on work for which you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, Social Security does reduce your Social Security spouses or widows benefits.

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They reduce your Social Security benefits by two-thirds of your government pension.

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In other words, if you get a monthly state teachers pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you’re eligible for a $500 spouses, widows or widowers benefit from Social Security, you’ll get $100 a month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).

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So what's probably happening here is that 2/3 of your benefit reduces what you would from them as a survivor benefit to zero.

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I give you a link for the fact shee that Social Security publishes about this in a minute, but here's what Social Security says about WHY they do this: (by the way there have been several bills in congress to change this, butat this point the government pension offset still exists).

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here's what they say:

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"Benefits we pay to spouses, widows, and widowers are “dependent’s” benefits. Set up in the 1930s, these benefits were to compensate spouses who stayed home to raise a family and were financially dependent on the working spouse. It’s now common for both spouses to work, each earning their own Social Security retirement benefit. The law requires a person’s spouse, widow, or widower benefit to be offset by the dollar amount of their own retirement benefit."

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Here's the link to the Social Security flyer on this:

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https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf

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Please let me know if you have any questions at all

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I hope you’ll rate me (using those stars, rating request, or faces on your screen) based on thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good news / bad news content. That’s the only way JustAnswer will credit me for the work here. But please let me know if you still have questions.

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Lane

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I hold a JD (Juris Doctorate, a doctoral degree in the law), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance & tax, as well as CFP® and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security & Medicare, estate, corporate & tax advice since 1986

Expert:  Lane replied 10 months ago.

Did you see my answer?