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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am getting literature on line and in the mail that certain

Customer Question

I am getting literature on line and in the mail that certain Social Security benefits are expiring at the end of April, 2016, that I may be qualified for. There are rules, techniques and strategies that I may not know about to increase my monthly benefit. I am currently living on under $23,000 a year with rent just under $1500 a month and find it hard to make ends meet. How can I find out if I am entitled to any extra benefits from Social Security, and how can I find this out?
My name is***** SS#***-**-****. I am going to be 89 years old this year.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon Mary,

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

The changes in the social security law scheduled to take effect on May 1, 2016 will not effect you and your benefits will not be decreased at all. Neither will your benefits increase. The law is intended to take benefits from some people, not give them greater benefits. Let me explain.

There is a tremendous amount of misleading information as well as outright misinformation floating around the internet and on radio and TV about the recent changes in the law. In reality the changes effect only a very small percentage of Americans and they relate to a spouse benefit.

The reality is that there is not really unclaimed benefits (and this is where the big lie really is), but there are 2 loopholes being closed that would allow a very select few people to get more benefits over the remainder of their lives.

Unless you are presently married, at least 62 (but under 70) years old and not receiving a social security benefit yet, then the changes will not effect you and will not allow you to get any extra money from social security when you retire. Neither will the changes mean that you will get less of a retirement benefit when you do retire. The monthly benefit amounts have not changed.

The loopholes being closed---there are 2 of them--- allow the following:

1. A person over 66 who is not taking their own benefit yet to File and Suspend a retirement claim, and allow their spouse to take an immediate spouse benefit.This loophole ends on May 1, 2016 for everyone, regardless of age.

2. Allow you to take a Restricted Spouse Benefit after age 66 and still allow your own retirement benefit to grow to age 70 by 8% per year----but in order to qualify for this loophole, you MUST be born before February 2, 1954 and not yet be receiving any kind of a social security benefit when you first apply for the spouse benefit.

So because you do not fall into one of the 2 categories above, then the change in the laws have no direct impact on you.

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.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon MaryAnn,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?

In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

If I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,


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