Ask Larry

Would A Paid Consultation Be Fruitful?

Greetings Larry,
I have an odd issue with Social Security--benefits lower than I believe they should be--and no adequate response to my repeated requests for Recomputation. I may have finally tracked the problem back to a missed COLA. Social Security only increased my benefit that year by granting credit for my earnings and forgot the COLA. I am past FRA and still working at a salary higher than the cap. I applied for benefits when I was two months shy of my 69th birthday. I have written a long letter to Social Security and compiled a spreadsheet detailing what I believe to be the problem. As both my wife and I are already receiving retirement benefits, I wonder if a paid consultation with you might be fruitful. I look forward to your response.
Thank you!

Hi David,

Both COLA increases and recomputations to include additional earnings are automated processes, so I'd be extremely surprised if you didn't get credit for both. However, whereas COLA increases are credited when due, recomputations to credit additional years of higher earnings are delayed, usually being done late in the year following the year of the higher earnings. Any such increase is retroactive to the Social Security payment for January of the year following the year of the higher earnings, though.

Furthermore, when you file for benefits between full retirement age and age 70, you don't always immediately receive credit for all of the delayed retirement credits (DRC) that you have accrued. DRCs in such cases are initially only credited through December of the year prior to your month of entitlement, so unless your month of entitlement to benefits was January, credit for any DRCs accumulated in your initial year of entitlement would need to be added effective with the following January. That too is an automated process, but there is usually an even longer delay for that than for earnings recomputations.

I'm just speculating, though, and I don't know if any of the delayed processes I've described above would be involved with your issue. In any event we do offer an expert review service which you can learn more about by clicking on the 'Purchase' tab at the top of our home page.

Best, Jerry

Jul 5 2018 - 2:19pm
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.