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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10891
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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Tina, thank you. I am 62, born in 1954. JUst awarded soc

Customer Question

Hi Tina, thank you. I am 62, born in 1954. JUst awarded soc security disability due to a fall resulting in near death and TBI. But it is less per month than my estimated retirement soc secur. If I improve within 2 yrs and return to work, how will I get my fair retirement soc sec at age 66?
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, can you tell me where the company is registered?
Customer: Location is Tennessee, but the corporation may be registered in a cheaper state for tax purposes.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: yes, I am. approved for $1748, but my retirement soc sec benefits were higher. The company, Consolidated NUclear Security in Oak Ridge TN pays me 60% of my salary HOWEVER they will deduct the amt the govt will pay starting in December FROM that :(
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: ok. The letter SSA sent me said the amount would stay the same when I reached retirement age, BUT i think they are assuming I would remain disabled, but I'm improving month by month. I think within 18 months I might be able to work again.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The company took me Off their active employment so they didnt have to pay me benefits (match amt on 401k, paid time off accrual, service awards, medical premeiums at lower rate) CIGNA health ins company manages the LTD for CNS.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 3 months ago.

Hi. My name's Lane. I can help you here.

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That, should you remain disabled to age 66 the amount will not change, but rather just BECOME your retirement benefit, is correct.

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That's the way it works. The normal calculation for retirement benefits "freezes your earnings, RATHER than letting the zero earnings for the years of disability come into the average.

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However, if you DO return to work and are able to bring up the average earnings, that will serve to increase your retirement benefit, all other things being equal.

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SSA uses something called Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) to calculate your benefits.

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AIME is your highest 35 years of earnings, indexed to current dollars (using the average wage index to account for the inflation in wages that happened over those years) so that your AIME reflects current dollars.

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So, although going back to work, in of itself, will not increase our retirement benefit (unless you don't have 35 years of earnings in the system so that those work years would be replacing zeros in the average).

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BUT, returning to work and earning MORE that your AIME will bring up that AIME and increase your benefit.

Expert:  Lane replied 3 months ago.

Please Let me know if you have ANY questions, before rating me.

But if this HAS helped, and you don’t have more questions on this, I’d appreciate a positive rating (by using those stars on your screen, and clicking submit) … Otherwise JA won’t compensate me for the work.

Thank you,

Lane

I have a Law degree with concentration in Tax , Estate & Corporate Law, … an MBA, with specialization in finance … a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.