Can I File An Appeal Back To September 2018?

Category: 
Oct 27 2019 - 11:12am

Dear Larry:
I was born in 1951, currently working full time, plan to not collect my own benefit until age 70. I was married 13 years, divorced in 2012. I was employed by a PERS for 12 years from 1973 till 1985 where I did not pay social security, took a disbursement of member contributions of $14, 141.93 in 1986 which cancelled all service credit. The PERS document states that refunds consisted of only member's contributions. I am not eligible for a monthly benefit.

I have applied three times for ex-spousal benefits (my ex-husband was born in 1951). I was denied in Sept. 2018 for reasons as stated: due to my PERS deduction, and the amount my ex-husband reported as income, my ex-spousal benefits would be less than $0. I applied again January 2019, was originally told I would receive $1000 benefit minus $100 PERS deduction retroactive to March 2018 (as I had been denied in 9/2018); I was then denied, saying that my ex-husband did not report enough income, as my own benefit would be more than half of his. I applied again in October 2019, and was granted ex-spousal benefits retro to April 2018 on "restricted to another's benefit, born before 1954". Would I be able to file an appeal back to 9/2018? Thank you.

Hi,

You can file an appeal, but if you file an appeal more than 60 days after being notified of the determination you're appealing you would have to establish good cause for late filing (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf). You shouldn't really need to file an appeal, though, based on my understanding of what you're saying. Instead, I think you should ask Social Security to reopen their determination on your previous claim.

Assuming that you filed a claim for divorced spousal benefits in September 2018 and Social Security made an incorrect determination on your claim, they should be able to reopen that decision and correct their mistake. Social Security can go back up to 4 years to reopen and revise determinations if new and material evidence becomes available. And, if your most recent claim was approved then that must mean that Social Security is now satisfied that their previous determination on your case was incorrect. Requests for reopening must be submitted in writing, but if you contact Social Security they should be willing to assist you with filing your request (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0204001050).

Best, Jerry