Ask Larry

Do You Have Any Advice About My Problem?

I am retiring in May 2017, age 67. I got a phone call from SS that my 1990 income was apparently reported twice. This skewed my benefits which became lower once the error was found (my bad for not paying closer attention to those earnings reports!!!) I was told on the phone by the SS rep that half the reported amount would be used as my income for 1990. Now I get a letter stating my income for 1990 is $0 and my benefits (including a retro payment to July 2016, if I choose to take it) are even lower. Of course I am disputing this but do you have any advice? I found out about you from your book "Get What's Yours" which I am very glad I read it! Thank you


Not really. Naturally you'll want to be sure that you are credited with the correct amount of earnings for 1990, as well as every other year for that matter. If you still have proof of your 1990 earnings (e.g. W-2 form), you'll want to hold on to that and submit it to Social Security if necessary to resolve the problem.

When you say that you are disputing this issue, I'm not sure what you mean specifically. Ideally, Social Security will resolve the problem before your claim is processed, but if not, you'll want to be sure to file a timely appeal if you aren't credited with the proper amount of earnings. You have 60 days from the date of your award letter in which to file a formal appeal (

By the way, before you decide on when to start your benefits, you may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you make the best choice.

Best, Jerry

Feb 20 2017 - 11:45am
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