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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37666
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 was married to a very successful physician for 17 years

Customer Question

I was married to a very successful physician for 17 years (1970 to 1987) (I worked full time to put him through Georgetown medical school!). When I applied for social security at 62 yrs old, I was told I was eligible to get his as because we had been married for 17 yrs. I brought my marriage and divorce papers to the as office and the agent told me that since I was legally entitled to his as I would get $970 per month. My ex made $990,000 the first year in private practice (which I ran) and most often a million dollars per year. When I got my first as check it was about $800 (not even the 970 she said it would be! My name is ***** ***** and I live at*****in Cleveland heights Ohio 44106. My ex husband still runs a lucrative medical practice at*****in Parma, 0hio. His name is ***** ***** Edwards, MD. Can you please explain to me how the IRS agent quoted me a number, then the checks she sent were way less? And how if I am supposting to get my ex's ss, who makes millions, I am only getting $899 a month! I also worked and paid into ss for most of life, but teachers pay is not even close to a surgeons pay! Can you explain to me what is going on here? Thank you your prompt attention to my dalema !
Than you, ***** *****
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon Pamela,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have been a licensed attorney for more than 3 decades. Please don't confuse excellent service with a satisfactory outcome based on your wants and desires. I can only explain the law to you---not guarantee that you will be happy with the outcome---any more than a cancer surgeon can guarantee a cure. In other-words---no fair shooting the messenger.

There is a maximum social security benefit that is paid----regardless of how much you may earn. Your husband's benefit won't be any higher than someone who earned 1/10 of his income over the years because the maximum social security benefit is about $2650.

Because you applied for the benefit at age 62, you were only entitled to 60% of the same benefit that you would have received at age 66.

If he maxed his benefit out---meaning he will get $2,650 per month at full retirement age, then your full retirement age spouse benefit would have been about $1,325 per month. But because you applied 4 years before your full retirement age, you got on 70% of that.

So if he was right at the top in 2016 numbers, your maximum benefit at age 62 would be about $927 per month. The difference between my number and the amount of your benefit is likely accounted for by the fact that you applied for the benefit several years ago.

Also keep in mind that if you are also getting Medicare Part B, you probably have a Medicare premium deduction of about $105 per month from your benefit.

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.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good evening,

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,