Ask Larry: Questions and Answers

Displaying 1 - 10 of 9574 questions.

Will My Husband's Military And Social Security Benefits Affect My Eligibility For SSI?

Will my husband's military retirement and military disability affect Mt eligibilty for ssi? My husband is planning to apply for his ssdi, will that also affect My eligibilty for ssi?

Hi. My answer assumes that by SSI you're referring to Supplemental Security Income, not Social Security benefits. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs based benefit administered by the Social Security Administration.

In that case, then assuming that you reside with your husband then any any benefits that he receives may affect either your eligibility for . . . Read More

Category: Supplemental Security Income
Posted: Nov 25 2022 - 1:46pm

Can You Confirm That My Plan Is Valid?

Can you confirm that my plan is valid: My wife earned a lot less than me over our lifetimes, so my plan is for her to claim HER benefit at 62 while I continue to work. Then when I claim at either 67 or later, she will step up to a spousal benefit of 1/2 mine. But I don't see any downside to her taking HER benefit for those 5 years+ until I claim mine. Correct?

Hi. No, your wife can't file for her own benefits at age 62 and then simply switch from her own benefits to spousal benefits when you file for your benefits. Your wife can file for reduced benefits . . . Read More

Category: Filing Strategies
Posted: Nov 25 2022 - 1:12pm

If My Wife Applies For SSDI Now Will It Reduce Later SS Benefits For Her Or Me?

I am 67, retired, and planning to start SS retirement benefits (substantial) when I turn 70 in January 2025 (per your book and MaxiFi). My wife is 63 and will qualify for her own small SS retirement benefits plus spousal benefits. BUT: she was just diagnosed with ALS. I believe that she can apply now for SSDI benefits, which may be automatic, and that she can then get Medicare, which will help enormously. My question: if she does this (apply for SSDI now), will that goof up or reduce later SS benefits for her or for me? Maybe MaxiFi can answer this, but I haven’t figured that . . . Read More

Category: Disability Benefits
Posted: Nov 24 2022 - 12:38pm

Can I Keep My Disability And Medicare Benefits If I Need To Sell My Home?

Im 61 and on disability fighting cancer. I'm also on Medicare for my medical benefits . If I need to sell my home to make ends meet, can I keep my disability/medicare benefits ? Or will capital gains wipe that out?

Hi. I'm sorry to hear about your illness. Selling your home would have no adverse effect on your Medicare eligibility, nor would it affect your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit eligibility or benefit rate. So, yes, you could keep those benefits even if you have to sell your home.

Best, Jerry

Category: Disability Benefits
Posted: Nov 23 2022 - 12:14pm

Would My Pension Plan In The U.K. Count As A Pension Subject To The Windfall Elimination Provision?

Hi Larry,

I worked in the US and contributed/paid to SS for 28 years. Subsequently, I worked in London for about 7 years where I contributed to the equivalent of our 401K in the US and I directed where the funds were invested. In the UK, we termed this as pension. I do not get monthly payments from this pot but I intend to withdraw a lump sum every so often. So far, I have drawn a lump sum only once, last year. Would this "pension" be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision and if so, how would it be assessed since I do receive periodic monthly payments, only . . . Read More

Category: Non-Covered Pension - WEP / GPO
Posted: Nov 23 2022 - 11:54am

Will I Miss Out On The Large COLA Increase If I Don't Become Eligible For Benefits By December 2022?

I am 71 and have not yet taken my SS benefit. I know that DRCs stopped when I reached age 70. I have a low benefit due to the WEP and have declined to file so that I may fund an HSA and reap those tax benefits. My question is, if I do not become eligible for my SS benefit in/before December 2022, will the benefit not be increased by the large COLA that is being applied this year.? Thanks much.

Hi. Your Social Security retirement benefit amount will be credited with the upcoming 8.7% cost of living (COLA) increase regardless of when, or if, you apply for . . . Read More

Category: Cost Of Living Increases
Posted: Nov 22 2022 - 4:31pm

Is This Correct?

Hi - thank you for prior answers. I'm trying to understand if this is correct, husband and wife are both FRA 67, husbands FRA PIA 2600/m, wife 1000/m. If he waits to 70 with DRC add to $3224 form him, and $1240 for wife. However, for her 50% on His PIA FRA is 1300, will she receive what is hers 1240 or will she brought into 1300? 1240 hers 60 residual spousal. Thank you

Hi. In the scenario you present, the wife would get her own retirement benefit of $1240 plus an excess spousal benefit of $60 (i.e. $1300 total). Given that fact, it would not be wise for . . . Read More

Category: Filing Strategies
Posted: Nov 21 2022 - 6:07pm

Shouldn't My Survivor Benefit Rate Be Higher?

Hi Larry, My husband was on s.s.disability due to extreme illness and inability to work for 30 years, and I who was married to him for 41 years was his caregiver and took care of him full time. After he died in Nov. of 2021, it took until February to finally get approved for survivor's benefits. Unfortunately because I had just turned 60 yrs old, they only give me 71% of what my husband's monthly disability amount was when he died. But I cannot understand or find any situation like ours where he was on disability for 30 years, and then died, and my survivor benefits are only 71 . . . Read More

Category: Widow's Benefits
Posted: Nov 21 2022 - 11:57am

If My Benefit Amount Increased Shouldn't My Family Maximum Also Increase?

Hi Larry; I will turn 62 in February. On Friday I received an updated statement from social security with an increased benefit amount of 8.89% for ages 62-70, however my “Family Maximum” benefit was unchanged. I ran the calculations for AIME, PIA and the Family Maximum using the 2023 bend points which resulted in a significant increase in the Family Maximum. Is this expected? Or an error by social security? Thanks for your help.

Hi. If your primary insurance amount (PIA) increased, then your family maximum benefit (FMB) amount would also increase. You may . . . Read More

Category: Family Benefit Maximum
Posted: Nov 20 2022 - 9:31pm

Can I Use An Estimate Of My Expected Income On Form SSA-44?

A Medicare question. (If you don't do Medicare, can you suggest someone to whom I can contact?)

I just received a letter from the IRS indicating our ERMAA for next year (2023) based on our tax return for 2021. This represents an increase into the next category (ERMAA will be $165 per month for each of us for Part A, plus $31 for part D. Ouch!)

I would like to file an SSA-44 form to reduce this amount, but the instructions are very ambiguous. I had a life changing event (retirement) in June, 2022, so my wife and I (joint return) are eligible. For Step 3, in 2023 I . . . Read More

Category: Medicare
Posted: Nov 20 2022 - 12:14pm
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