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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13564
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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Prior to my applying SSA benefits I would receive a letter

Customer Question

Prior to my applying for my SSA benefits I would receive a letter from SSA indicating what I could expect as my payments when I applied for my benefits. When I actually applied my benefits turned out to be less than 50% of what I was expecting. I was a member of the National Guard and worked full-time for my unit. I was paid by Civil Service for my full-time work, paying into my Civil Service Retirement. I did pay FICA tax for all my military duty and a part-time job and then while employed full-time after my separation from the military and CSA. I do not understand me being told what I could expect and then receive less than 50% of that figure.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like they are applying the WEP to you - windfall elimination provision. However, this should typically not be applied when the pension earned was based on earnings upon which you paid SS taxes. Also, even if you didn't pay SS taxes, if you otherwise worked in an SS tax paying job(s) for 30 years, earning "substantial income", you should also be exempt from WEP application. Consider downloading your annual SS earnings statement from ssa.gov/myaccount (you create a passworded account if you haven't already done so). This will tell you what the SSA says is your SS taxed paid income in your entire life. You can compare it with your tax returns and determine where they went wrong. You can get it changed if it fails to reflect your SS contributions/income. If it is correct, you will still take it to the local office to inquire. Read your letter, however, that provides you your award amount, and if it indicates a right to appeal, you will want to do so before the deadline, in case your conversation at your local office prove to be useless.

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

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