U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-28-2015, 11:08 AM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 813,077 times
Reputation: 1197

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
Her retirement benefit when converted from SSDI will remain the same. What I don't understand is how she is able to collect SSDI and widows benefits on your father. It is always one or the other in SS benefits you cannot collect two checks as it were. Now they do figure what she is entitled to under her own benefits and then if it is less than the deceased husbands they add to her benefit to equal what your father was entitled to, but she would still only get one check or deposit as the case may be.
You have this correct.

When you reach FRA, your SSDI benefits 'automatically' convert to SS benefits because SSDI money is transferred into the SSDI fund from the SS fund (and this is what all the hub-ub was about when Congress voted to stop the automatic transfer of funds which may result in a benefit reduction of 19% by 2016). Because these are essentially two different 'money pots', the way the mom's total benefit is calculated could be what is stated by the OP. Whether those amounts are deposited in two checks or one is another matter, but what does count is how the total amount is calculated (as you correctly pointed out) and if you add the two sums together, it does appear that she may be receiving the correct amount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
Also if she took the widows benefit before Full retirement age that would be reduced for each month before full retirement age she was when she took it, and it does not go up when you reach full retirement age.
You also have this correct.

For every year/month earlier than FRA a beneficiary claims a widow's benefit, the total amount IS reduced. A person claiming at age 60 (the earliest one can claim), the total benefit amount would be only 71.5% of the FRA of the deceased spouse. And while beneficiaries do get COLA's, there are NO increases above that regardless of what age the beneficiary is.

My concern for the OP's mom is that with the POMS rewrite, even IF her mom discovered that she would get a larger benefit by just claiming her deceased husband's FRA benefits, then she would have to 'withdraw' her claim for disability benefits. If she does that, SS would grant her request to only claim her husband's benefits. However, she would also be required to pay back every dollar of SSDI benefits she ever received prior to receiving a larger monthly benefit amount. That is what the article pointed out.

Most SSDI beneficiaries are not necessarily financially solvent and the thought of getting a bill in the mail from SSDI for 10's (or possibly 100's) of thousands of dollars to repay the SSDI fund (because a disability claim was withdrawn) doesn't seem like something I'd want to do.

Sure...this may sound unbelievable, but if you read the article in its entirety, that is exactly what the SSA is saying in their rewrite.

RVcook
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-28-2015, 01:33 PM
 
7 posts, read 7,427 times
Reputation: 15
Ok, I think I am starting to follow this new POMS process. Let's see if I have this right...

My Mom is presently 64. She will turn 66 in July of 2016. So, her FRA is 66.

She approaches her 66th birthday. At that point in time, she might be presented with some options from SS:

Hey Mrs. Smith. You are presently collecting a total of $2,082.00 per month which is the sum of your disability plus your widow's benefits. We are able to offer you (a number greater than $2,082.00 per month) ONLY IF you pay us back all of the money we have paid you since 2009 in disability benefits.

Is the above correct? If so, what would the "other" option be?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 04:20 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 813,077 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyZ3M View Post
Ok, I think I am starting to follow this new POMS process. Let's see if I have this right...

My Mom is presently 64. She will turn 66 in July of 2016. So, her FRA is 66.

She approaches her 66th birthday. At that point in time, she might be presented with some options from SS:

Hey Mrs. Smith. You are presently collecting a total of $2,082.00 per month which is the sum of your disability plus your widow's benefits. We are able to offer you (a number greater than $2,082.00 per month) ONLY IF you pay us back all of the money we have paid you since 2009 in disability benefits.

Is the above correct? If so, what would the "other" option be?
From my understanding of the rewrite, your mom would not be offered other any option at all.

According to the SSA, if your mom was aged 66 (FRA) in 2014, (and I know she's not, but that's how the figures are factored), the maximum benefit she could collect would be $2,642. But here's the problem: I believe your mom may already be collecting her deceased husband's maximum benefit and your mom's SSDI payment makes up the difference which, when added together, is actually quite close to the maximum benefit she would receive if she hadn't claimed SSDI and only took her widow's benefit.

Because she has already claimed her widow's benefit at age 60, a permanent reduction has been applied to the FRA amount. Even in 2014 dollars, a full payment of $2,642 less 28.5% = $1890. If she's receiving SSDI benefits between $500-$700, then that IS the max benefit she is eligible for.

I hope this makes sense.

RVcook
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 04:50 PM
 
7 posts, read 7,427 times
Reputation: 15
It makes sense, sort of.

I guess what I am trying to determine, in simple terms, what is going to happen when she turns 66, and how much money is she going to be receiving from that point until she dies? Plain and simple.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,419 posts, read 20,254,648 times
Reputation: 16475
Not to take away from the OP's post - but SSA is so confusing - I'm mid 50's, can't officially retire for many yrs. but was approved for disability, then they asked for confirmation of marriage (he passed last yr. - to see if I would qualify for more - I did for a bit more but it will be paid in 2 deposits every month (my amount and the Survivor amount).

No idea what happens when I get to official retirement age - will it all change?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 05:13 PM
 
7 posts, read 7,427 times
Reputation: 15
You sound like you are in the same boat as my Mom, just younger. I would stay tuned to this thread as it looks like what you are driving at is what I am driving at as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 06:37 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 813,077 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyZ3M View Post
It makes sense, sort of.

I guess what I am trying to determine, in simple terms, what is going to happen when she turns 66, and how much money is she going to be receiving from that point until she dies? Plain and simple.
I think the SSA makes things deliberately confusing and then doesn't train their reps to understand the complexities of their own rules...ughh!

When your mom turns 66, absolutely nothing will change as long as she doesn't 'do' anything. Her SSDI benefit will automatically 'convert' to a regular SS retirement benefit...the same amount. I do believe however, that since both benefits will be coming out of the same SS retirement money pot, (as opposed to her disability benefits coming out of the SSDI pot and her widows benefits coming out of the SS pot) she will probably get only one check in the total amount of whatever the two together would equal, permanently reduced (as described above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Not to take away from the OP's post - but SSA is so confusing - I'm mid 50's, can't officially retire for many yrs. but was approved for disability, then they asked for confirmation of marriage (he passed last yr. - to see if I would qualify for more - I did for a bit more but it will be paid in 2 deposits every month (my amount and the Survivor amount).

No idea what happens when I get to official retirement age - will it all change?
Claiming disability benefits makes things very confusing because most people who file for them really need them. Unfortunately, if you were a worker and you file for those benefits, the amount is reduced and will be forever. There is NO bump when you reach FRA. Once you qualify for widow's benefits, if you are disabled and not working, you should definitely file and receive a little more.

However, if you are a worker and have NOT filed for disability and you can make it without the disability benefit, it would work out better for you financially if you worked until you could claim widow's benefits at 60, 62 or 66 (depending on your situation) and allow your own SS benefits to grow. Remember, when your spouse died (very sorry for your loss), whatever his SS benefit at FRA was is frozen when he passed away. Your benefit on the other hand, will continue to grow as long as you're alive. Claiming your own benefit at your FRA or even at age 70 would dramatically increase the amount of your benefit which you may need into your later years. But...if you can't afford to wait, you will need to take permanently reduced benefits in the form of your own disability and then at 60, 62 or 66, you should file for your widow's benefit.

RVcook
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,215,210 times
Reputation: 6866
Re: the POMS cite above.

I haven't studied this carefully, but it seems to me that if someone who is receiving SSDI stopped her benefits before she reaches FRA then there can be no automatic conversion of disability benefits at FRA because there would be no disability benefits to convert. Instead, she would forfeit at least one month of disability benefits but would still be able to apply for spousal/widow benefits when reaching FRA. If I'm correct, I suspect this "loophole" will somehow be closed as well.

Arguably, SSA is changing a rule and should have published notice in the Federal Register. Of course, SSA would argue it is not changing the rule and therefore notice is not required. This could get ugly if applied to other strategies including, but not limited to, the "file and suspend" strategy.

Not surprisingly, this particular change will negatively impact working class women much more than men because of the difference in lifetime earnings.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2015, 07:09 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 813,077 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Re: the POMS cite above.

I haven't studied this carefully, but it seems to me that if someone who is receiving SSDI stopped her benefits before she reaches FRA then there can be no automatic conversion of disability benefits at FRA because there would be no disability benefits to convert. Instead, she would forfeit at least one month of disability benefits but would still be able to apply for spousal/widow benefits when reaching FRA. If I'm correct, I suspect this "loophole" will somehow be closed as well.

Arguably, SSA is changing a rule and should have published notice in the Federal Register. Of course, SSA would argue it is not changing the rule and therefore notice is not required. This could get ugly if applied to other strategies including, but not limited to, the "file and suspend" strategy.

Not surprisingly, this particular change will negatively impact working class women much more than men because of the difference in lifetime earnings.
You are correct Lenora about the automatic conversion. And you are also correct that Social Security has already claimed that this is NOT a rule change, just a clarification. However, in the past one could "withdraw" their claim for SSDI benefits and basically just switch to (claim) their spousal benefits at FRA. Now, that has all changed to close that loophole you referred to.

As it stands now, one can claim their own SSDI benefits and then also reduced widow's benefits. These two amounts, when added together result in a double reduced amount. Contrast this scenario with a person who is not disabled, claims reduced widows benefits at 60 and then at FRA (or 70) claims her own benefit that is allowed to grow. In essence, she is swapping out her reduced widow's benefit for her own FULL FRA benefit. Those receiving SSDI are not given this choice. They are out of luck, too bad, so sad, see ya! They have no other options...unless they want to pay back all the SSDI money they have received because if they "withdraw" their disability claim for benefits, they are saying they are not disabled.

Ridiculous!

RVcook

Last edited by RVcook; 01-28-2015 at 07:59 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2015, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,459 posts, read 5,922,719 times
Reputation: 16151
It's too early for all of this, my head is spinning.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top