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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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BIRTHDATE: 03/04/1946. I was married, non-working for 19

Customer Question

Hello, My name is*****###-##-####BIRTHDATE: 03/04/1946. I was married, non-working for 19 years to Michael John Mulcrone, North Barrington IL. I was advised that I would receive 1/2 of his social security benefits if I did not remarry. Due to financial hardship, I began collecting social security at age 62. I now receive to date. $1,015.00 per month. My ex-husband makes well over one million dollars a year and has not started receiving his social security and is remarried. He is 68. I do not understand why I receive such a small social security payment. Is it possible that he can be paying a withholding tax to something other than social security? I know firemen have such a pension plan. If so, am I entitled to a portion of such a plan if it exists? Thank you, ***** *****
JA: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?
Customer: Not yet
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon Penelope,

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 and I handle social security issues. 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.

The reason that you are receiving what you are is that social security has a maximum benefit amount that is payable to someone at their full retirement age. That limit in 2016 is $2,663.00 per month. Even someone making millions a year only pays social security taxes on a certain amount of income---and that leads to a limitation on the benefit ceiling.

Because you took your spouse benefit 4 years early, at age 62, rather than waiting to age 66 at which you would have received 50% of your ex's full retirement age benefit. At 62, you only received 35% of the benefit your ex would receive. So, the maximum benefit at that time you could have possible received would have been about $950.00. The fact that you are collecting more now is likely attributable to cost of living increases. You appear to be collecting all that you are entitled to collect as a spouse/ex-spouse benefit. I', sorry.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

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? Rating me costs you nothing as you have already paid the deposit for my help. All rating does is ensure that I am paid for my time in working with you.

Thanks in advance for your rating of my service, It is greatly appreciated,