Hello Larry - I recently filed for Social Security Benefits and got approved however the amount they say I am entitled to is less than the amount I figure I should get ( I based my figure on their documented formula - using both the 2018 formula and also the 1952 formula as I was born in 52). I have filed paperwork to appeal the amount and was wondering if you could answer two questions. 1. Any idea of how long it may take for a decision? 2. Do I need to also file an appeal for my wife since her SPOUSAL benefit will be affected if I win my appeal? I am hoping my wife's benefit would auto adjust since it is based on my payment.
Thanks from PA>
When I last worked for Social Security about 5 years ago the average timeframe for a reconsideration (i.e. first appeal step) determination was between 60 & 90 days. I'm almost sure that Social Security's backlogs have increased since that time, though, so it's impossible for me to give you a good answer.
Furthermore, the second (hearing) and third (appeals council review) levels of appeal can take years, so if you need to pursue your appeal beyond the reconsideration level you'll likely need a lot of patience.
Your wife would almost certainly not need to file a separate appeal request if her only issue is her spousal rate. If your appeal is successful and results in your primary insurance amount (PIA) being increased, Social Security would also recalculate your wife's spousal rate using your corrected PIA.
By the way, the Social Security benefit calculator in our maximization software is based on the actual formula used by Social Security, so you may want to use it to check your calculations.