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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 19125
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My SS benefits have been reduced due to my retiring from a

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My SS benefits have been reduced due to my retiring from a housing authority job in MA. SS claims a windfall tax and took everything away and is collecting an overpayment. I have tried to appeal twice but never hear from them. I want to know how they came up with their figures as they do not match mine at all. They refuse to tell me where these figures came from. Do I need an attorney?
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: I was 67 when I started to receive SS benefit from my ex-husband of 35 years, but that only lasted a year until I retired. They paid me the full amount even though I reported when I started to get a pension. It took them four months to catch up, then they stopped all my payments in Jan 2016. The latest paper I received from them says that in 2107 they will pay me $118 a month. Meanwhile I have to pay for Medicare too.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

If you receive benefits from a job where you did not contribute to the Social Security system and also receive Social Security benefits, the benefits you receive from the job where you did not contribute to the Social Security system may unfortunately reduce the amount of Social Security benefits that you are receiving pursuant to the Windfall Elimination Provision. This is the current law that applies to everyone except those who are specifically excluded such as the following:

• Federal workers first hired after December 31, 1983;

• those who were employed on December 31, 1983, by a nonprofit organization that didn’t withhold Social Security taxes from their pay at first, but then began withholding Social Security taxes;

• their only pension is for railroad employment;

• The only work they performed for which they didn’t pay Social Security taxes was before 1957; or

• They have 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For more information on the Windfall Elimination Provision, click here.

Social Security Administration calculates the "windfall" amount based on the benefits that you report from the other job. So, if you think this amount is not correct, you need to provide Social Security Administration documents to show the correct amount. It is prudent to go into your local office of Social Security to get this straightened out.

If you have appealed and you have not heard anything, you need to make sure that you are doing it correctly. You need to Request for Reconsideration first. Then if your request is denied, you have to appeal to the Administrative Law Judge. You need to use the appeal form to appeal. It is prudent to complete this form and go to your local office and submit it. Click on the respective links for the forms to use to Request for Consideration along with the form to appeal to the Administrative Law Judge.

Goodluck with your case,

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I knew all this and have applied for an informal conference on the correct form but I did not get a reply from SS.
All I want is for someone at SS to explain to me how they came up with this figure because it seems way off to me. They try to confuse everyone with their crazy formulas so you don't know how they arrive at anything and it is not fair.
Do you think I should request another informal conference? What do you suggest?

Thank you for the information.

Yes, you need to request for another informal conference and have a Claims Specialist to explain the figures to you. It can be quite confusing. If the Claims Specialist is unable to assist, she/he would contact a Supervisor.

Goodluck with your case,

Phillips Esq. and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.