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lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 28081
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I retired 16 years ago.. I was told that I could not get any

Customer Question

I retired 16 years ago.. I was told that I could not get any financial assistant from social security because I was a California teacher even though 7% was taken out of my pay check every month 35 years for my retirement. That means that I paid for half of my retirement. I was told that because of this pension I was ineligible for social security financial aid.. 'double dipping' as the expression goes. Since then I have heard of thousand of people 'double dipping' being paid benefits after retirement from State government offices, police, sheriffs, and many other professions. I don't understand why they get the benefits and I don't.
My questions are: 1. has this changed?
2. if so .. am I entitled to any benefits?
3. if so ..How do I go about getting them?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 5 months ago.
Rules are not change and stay the same for long time.The issue is NOt that you have your retirement income - but whether you and your employer paid into the Social Security system out of your wages?When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work).If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, you can add more credits to qualify.The SSA can’t pay any retirement benefits until you have the required number of credits.Another way - even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks.... next question.... My wife died 15 years ago after I retired for 1 year. She had worked for most of her life and had the minimum number of 'quarters'.. Am I entitled to any of her social security benefits
Expert:  lev-tax replied 5 months ago.
You MIGHT be entitled for survival spouse benefits - that could be 100% of benefits your spouse would be receiving.However - you work for a federal, state or local government agency, a nonprofit organization or in another country, you may be eligible for a pension based on earnings not covered by Social Security.
Expert:  lev-tax replied 5 months ago.
A pension based on earnings not covered by Social Security can affect the amount of your Social Security benefit.That is known as the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) - and you should be familiar with that.To calculate your WEP reduction, please use our WEP Online Calculator or download our Detailed Calculator.) appreciate if you take a moment to rate the answer.Experts are ONLY credited when answers are rated positively.If you still have any doubts, need clarification - please be sure to ask.I am here to help you with all tax related issues.