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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  associate attorney
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I lost my first effort to contact someone to help me apply

Customer Question

I lost my first effort to contact someone to help me apply for my share of the refund that expires April 30, 2016. I am an 86-year-old- widow, and this windfall is very welcome. Please advise how to apply.Thank you, ***** ***** Cooper
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  fedcrimlawyer replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.Can you explain a little further what refund you are talking about?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The excess that has been collected over the years for Social Security. This excess is being returned to applicants who qualify. I definitely qualify at age 86. I simply cannot find a means of getting in touch with the proper department to submit my application for my share of the refund. Time is running out for receiving my share.
Expert:  fedcrimlawyer replied 1 year ago.
OK. I will opt out and allow one of our Social Security experts assist you.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
New expert here. My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. There has been a lot of misinformation out there regarding HR 1314 and I think you have been caught up in that. The changes made in the bipartisan act are being hyped in the media but it is only a small loophole that is being closed. It is not a magical lump sum that has to be elected or banned benefits that you will lose. There is no application and it only deals with "file and suspend" spousal benefits and the "restricted benefit". Let me explain, a spouse can only take the spousal benefit if the other spouse has elected to take their benefit. Currently the law is changing and a "suspend and file" cannot be elected starting on May 1, 2016. In this circumstance at full retirement age (66) one could file and suspend their benefits and continue earning credits until age 70 and their spouse could elect to take the spousal benefit. The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. If the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced. Also the "restricted benefit" is being eliminated. If you turned age 62 be the end of December 31, 2015, you would be grandfathered in and at full retirement age you will still be able to restrict your benefit. This means that if you or your spouse would like to elect to take only the spousal benefit as opposed to your normal retirement benefit, you can restrict your election to ONLY the spousal benefit. This would allow you to collect the 50% spousal benefit while still gaining credits to your normal retirement benefit from ages 66-70 (the credit increases your benefit approximately 8% per year). After the law changes, at full retirement age, you would have to take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit. You can no longer choose just the spousal and let your normal retirement benefit grow while still take the spousal benefit. At your age (age 86), these loopholes have no effect on you and this change will have no effect on you either positive or negative. To be effected, you would need to be ages 62-70 at this point, so unfortunately, there is no windfall available to you and no excess fund that is being returned to applicants that qualify (in fact social security is very low on funds which is part of the reason that these 2 loopholes are being closed and why full retirement age is being moved further and further back). Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?