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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13487
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I TURN 66 IN AUGUST. I WAS MARRIED YEARS AND DIVORCED.

Customer Question

I TURN 66 IN AUGUST. I WAS MARRIED FOR 17 YEARS AND DIVORCED. I AM GETTING DIFFERENT ANSWERS FROM DIFFERENT SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES. I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION I COULD APPLY FOR SOC SEC WHEN I TURNED 66 AND THAT I COULD HAVE A CHOICE OF TAKING MINE OF THAT OF MY EX HUSBAND. I WAS TOLD THAT THEY USED HIS LAST 5 YEARS OF EARNING. THEN SOME ONE AT A DIFFERENT OFFICE TOLD ME THEY USE THE LAST 35 YEARS OF HIS INCOME BUT THAT I COULD NOT COLLECT HALF OF HIS UNTIL HE FILED HIMSELF FOR SOC SEC. ONE PERSON SAID I COULD HAVE FILED THIS PAST JANUARY IN THE YEAR I TURNN 66 AND GET THE FULL AMOUNT OF WHAT I WOULD GET AT 66 AND ANOTHER PERSON TOLD ME I COULD FILE IN MAY AND GET MY FIRST CHECK IN SEPTEMBER. SINCE I TAUGHT SCHOOL FOR 11 YEARS AND WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM FOR 7 I DIDN'T START EARNING MONEY TO GO INTO THE SOC SEC SYSTEM UNTIL I WAS FORTY. MY EX HAS MADE AN AVERAGE OF $200K - $400K A YEAR AND THE SOC SEC OFFICE SAID HE WOULD ONLY GET $1800 A MONTH SO MY HALF WOULD BE $900. THIS ALL SOUNDS SCREWY TO ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO GET THE FACTS. THANK YOU. JODY LAPINE
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Oh my, my post didn't take? Ouch, OK, here I go again. Thank you for your patience:

"I TURN 66 IN AUGUST. I WAS MARRIED FOR 17 YEARS AND DIVORCED. I AM GETTING DIFFERENT ANSWERS FROM DIFFERENT SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICES. I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION I COULD APPLY FOR SOC SEC WHEN I TURNED 66 AND THAT I COULD HAVE A CHOICE OF TAKING MINE OF THAT OF MY EX HUSBAND.-------- Yes, this is true

- I WAS TOLD THAT THEY USED HIS LAST 5 YEARS OF EARNING. ---- Not true.

THEN SOME ONE AT A DIFFERENT OFFICE TOLD ME THEY USE THE LAST 35 YEARS OF HIS INCOME --- True. To determine his PIA (primary insurance amount).

BUT THAT I COULD NOT COLLECT HALF OF HIS UNTIL HE FILED HIMSELF FOR SOC SEC. --------- Not true. Not when you are divorced. That only applies to currently married folk.

ONE PERSON SAID I COULD HAVE FILED THIS PAST JANUARY IN THE YEAR I TURNN 66 AND GET THE FULL AMOUNT OF WHAT I WOULD GET AT 66------ Not true.

AND ANOTHER PERSON TOLD ME I COULD FILE IN MAY AND GET MY FIRST CHECK IN SEPTEMBER. ------ Generally true.

SINCE I TAUGHT SCHOOL FOR 11 YEARS AND WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM FOR 7 I DIDN'T START EARNING MONEY TO GO INTO THE SOC SEC SYSTEM UNTIL I WAS FORTY. MY EX HAS MADE AN AVERAGE OF $200K - $400K A YEAR AND THE SOC SEC OFFICE SAID HE WOULD ONLY GET $1800 A MONTH -------- that is well above average, so that it likely correct. Remember, he didn't pay SS taxes on $200-$400k, only on his income up to the cap. The cap is currently around 120k, so being super rich doesn't provide for a super higher SS rate. Plus, he probably had lower income years as part of his top 35, which would bring down his average to something less than the max rate of 2600 or so.

SO MY HALF WOULD BE $900. ------- Yes.

THIS ALL SOUNDS SCREWY TO ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO GET THE FACTS. THANK YOU. JODY LAPINE -------- See above. Those are the realities! You can take a restricted spousal at 66, and let your own grow to age 70, so your own benefit will grow 32% beyond your PIA. Then switch to your own which will likely be far greater than 900. But you get that 900 for all those 48 months. That restricted spousal has been eliminated for the rest of us, but you are grandfathered, so it is like "found money" if you want to defer your own benefit to let it grow.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

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