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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
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 disabled and on SSI. I made more money than my wife or

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I am disabled and on SSI. I made more money than my wife or the maximum for SSI. She turned 62 and we applied online for her followed by a phone call. They tell us that my wife gets 76% for hers or 37% for mine. No bump because I am totally disabled. 5 years ago my brother who is also totally disabled in OKC and his wife turned 62 and got 912 based on his income and then a bump because he is on social security. What gives?

Good afternoon John,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I do empathize with you at your surprise of the fact that your wife will get much less than perhaps you had expected her to be awarded.

I'm not sure how your brother got the idea that his wife received not only her regular spouse benefit when she turned 62 and some sort of additional payment because her husband was on social security---but apparently he was somehow mistaken. I can assure you that did not happen that way. Social security only pays one retirement benefit (personal or spouse) at a time---and it is not increased because the other spouse may happen to be disabled. It never has been that way.

When a person chooses to take early social security retirement at age 62, they get the equivalent of about 75% of their own full retirement benefit, or about 35% of their spouse's full retirement age benefit---whichever is higher. There is no additional money added to a retirement benefit because the other spouse is receiving social security of any sort---including social security disability. I am very sorry.

I wish you the best in 2013.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.

Thank you,


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Doug: my brother has a bit of a BS factor and drinks too much in his retirement. His wife is foreign born and is 66 right now. He may have confused a few things and she also gets something from Japan SSI.

Thanks so much.

Good afternoon,

It is my pleasure John. Again, I am sorry that what your brother told you created expectations that were not met. I wish that it were not so, for you and your wife's sake.

Thanks again.

Have a great day,