What Recourse Do I Have?

Category: 
Aug 16 2019 - 4:20pm

What recourse do I have? I called SSA only to be told that at my FRA (in a few weeks as I was born pre-1954) that a restricted application on my husband's benefit would be 50% of what he is currently getting (based on his claiming at at 62). SSA Rep did not give any credence to what you advised (in your email of 7/6/19; and confirmed with what I've read from other resources), that such an application would be based on my husband's PIA (to include COLAs since he began benefits). SSA rep said it would be up to the Claims Reps' interpretation of the policy when I apply for benefits. Is there a federal citation, statute, policy, etc. that I can reference to substantiate what I understand to be the correct option available to me? Thank you!

Hi,

It sounds like you spoke with a poorly trained representative who's not familiar with the Social Security regulations on benefit computations. Benefit computations are certainly not dependent on an individual claims representative's interpretation of the law. Hopefully, the claims representative who actually processes your claim will be properly trained, but if necessary you can direct them to section B.1.a of the following reference from Social Security's operation's manual, which clearly states that unreduced spousal benefits are equal to 50% of the worker's primary insurance amount (PIA): https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0300615201.

If worse comes to worst and your benefit rate is incorrectly calculated, you can request an appeal of Social Security's determination (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf).

Best, Jerry