Which Representive Is Correct?

Sep 8 2016 - 7:30am

I am a retired Texas teacher. I retired in 2014 I will be 66 09/15/2016. At 63 I filed on my ex-husband's benefits and was told I would not receive any money because I made too much money. Everytime I call or go in to see Social Security they tell me something different. Today I had two people on different lines telling the opposite things. The one I like said in September I will receive $504 and month. There is also a letter from Carolyn Covin
The contained this"Because You Have Already Filed a Claim for Benefits
We are not giving you estimates because our records show that you have already qualified for benefits." He also said I should receive a check for some back money.
The other representative on the other line said because I was a teacher I was teacher and had only worked 17 years in the private sector I was not getting anything.
1. Which representative i correct?
2. Am I getting $504 in September because I will be 66.

Thanks for your help,
Very confused

Hi,

Well, I'm a bit confused as to what benefits you've applied for. If you're receiving a pension from the Texas Teachers Retirement System and you didn't pay Social Security taxes on your earnings there, you may not be able to receive any Social Security benefits on your ex-husband's record. This is due to the Government Pension Offset provision (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf), which requires an amount equal to 2/3rds of your non-covered government pension to be withheld from any spousal, divorced spousal, widows or surviving divorced wife's benefits to which you are entitled. In some cases, this reduces the amount of benefits payable to zero.

On the other hand, if you have at least 40 quarters (i.e. 10 years) of earnings credits under Social Security, you can receive Social Security retirement benefits on your own record. However, if you're receiving a teachers pension and didn't pay SS taxes on those earnings, your monthly benefit amount will likely be reduced due to the WIndfall Elimination Provision (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf), or WEP. Although the WEP provision may reduce the rate payable, it never reduces the amount payable to zero as long as you have sufficient Social Security earnings credits to be insured for benefits (i.e. 40 quarters of coverage).

So, if you have enough work credits to be insured and have filed for retirement benefits on your own record, you should receive some Social Security benefits. If you elected to start benefits at full retirement age, which would be September 2016 in your case, your first payment would be due in October 2016.

Best, Jerry