65 thoughts on “Women need to understand their Social Security benefit…but that’s not all!

  1. I’m getting my social security disability check will I get a retirement benefit check also.Yours Truly,Ms.L.Price

    • When they switched me over from disability payments to retirement at retirement age, it was the same exact amount … just the same check amount. They did, however, mess me up with my Medicare. For some reason, they changed my Medicare account, too, or, at least, that’s what they said happened. My bills were refused by Medicare for a month or two and had to be re-filed later. Just keep an eye out for what is happening.

      • same with me; you get a letter advising you are no longer received SSDI benefits.

        you are now of age for retirement … SAME $$.

    • at 65 your disability will switch over to social security. your check will not change, you will get the same amount.

    • No, disability SS is early Social Security at the rate you would get at 65, 66 or 67. Depending on your year of birth. Only other supplement you get maybe SSI depending on how much income you get monthly/yearly. Retirement benefit is for those with no disability.

  2. Look into maximum amounts social security allows per household. It only allows you to receive so much. I don’t know if it pertains to your situation but I got much less than my full disability amount once I began receiving other benefits.

  3. How come clerks not abreast of “offset’ for government retirees? Both NJ &FL cannot give me answers. My husband just passed, he had state pension and social security. I have government pension and social security with offset (I receive $84 social security after Part B paid. Will I now receive something from my husband? One woman said yes and no offset. Is this true? Husband passed Jan. 25, haven’t heard anything back from them.

    • Call the toll free number 1800-772 1213. This blog provides general information and does not give advice for individual situations.

    • Hi, Phyllis. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies, such as police officers and some teachers) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefit can be reduced based on one of two provisions: The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. To learn more, please visit our webpage, Information for Government Employees. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account. We do ask that members in our Blog community continue to work with our local offices with questions about their specific case. Thanks.

    • We are sorry to hear about your loss Phyllis. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions. Your own Social Security benefit can be reduced based on the Windfall Elimination Provision. Your widow’s benefits under Social Security may be affected by the Government Pension Offset. You should receive an official notice soon. For follow up and further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  4. Hi,
    I have not got any social security benefits niether from Florida State and nor from Taxas Workfoce Commission,it is really a misserable because life is not mooving without money.kindly do for me.
    sincerely you

    • Hi! If you are referring to a claim for Social Security benefits, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, for follow up and further assistance. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  5. I am currently receiving SS Disability benefits and need to know if I am required to apply for regular SS benefits, and if so what age would I apply for and would my benefits change when I reach age 62 or 65? Or does this happen at a certain age without me applying. Also, will my benefits be reduced at that time? Thank you.

    • Hi, Carol. Thanks for your questions. Social Security disability benefits paid under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, automatically convert to retirement benefits when individuals attain their Full Retirement Age. Full retirement age (also called “normal retirement age”) had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same when we convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits. Disability (SSDI) payments are established at the highest rate possible, based on your earnings record. We hope you find this helpful.

  6. Many people do not know how retirement from social security works, they need to educate themselves and take care of their own needs, we as women put the burden on other people shoulders because we are care givers and expect someone else to take care of our financial needs when we get older. Wake up!!! when it comes to money you are on your own.

    • Not true. I am a strong woman and I do not expect anyone else, especially the government, to take care of my financial needs. You can be a care giver and take care of yourself.

  7. WHEN YOU REACH 65 YOU WILL BE SWITCHED OVER TO SOCIAL SECURITY. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, YOUR BENEFITS WILL REMAIN THE SAME.

    • Social Security disability benefits paid under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, automatically convert to retirement benefits when individuals attain their Full Retirement Age. Full retirement age (also called “normal retirement age”) had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same when we convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits. Disability (SSDI) payments are established at the highest rate possible, based on the individual’s earnings record.

  8. Sanders, Tony J. Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2017 HA-1-1-17 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss2017.htm

    Warren, Elizabeth; Tyagi, Amelia Warren. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke. Basic Books. Perseus Books Group. New York. 2003

    The average two-income family earns far more today than did the single-breadwinner family of a generation ago. Yet, once they pay the mortgage, the car payments, the taxes the health insurance, and the day-care bills, today’s dual-income families have less discretionary income and less money to save for a rainy day. If current trends persist, more than one of every six single mothers will go bankrupt by the end of the decade. Over the past twenty years the number of single mothers in bankruptcy has increased more than 600 percent. Mothers are 35 percent more likely than childless homeowners to lose their homes, three times more likely than men without children to go bankrupt, and seven times more likely to head up the family after a divorce. Nearly nine out of ten families with children cite just three reasons for their bankruptcies: job loss, family breakup and medical problems. All the other reasons combined – bad investment, crime victim, credit card overspending, natural disaster, other or no explanation – account for just 13 percent of families in bankruptcy. In the past twenty-five years the chances that a worker will suffer an involuntary job loss have increased by 28 percent since the 1970s. It is estimated that in a single year, roughly 6.3 percent of dual-income families -one out of every sixteen – will receive a pink slip. That means that a family today with both husband and wife in the workforce is approximately two and a half times more likely to face a job loss than a single-income family of a generation ago. Two-income families are more likely to file for bankruptcy than their one-income counterparts. Moreover, dual-income families who have filed for bankruptcy are also more likely to cite job loss or injury as the reason for their financial collapse. In 2001 more than one million families filed for bankruptcy in the wake of a job loss, business failure, disability or other form of income interruption. One in eleven single parents are more than 60 days past due on their bills (compared with one in thirty married couples with children). Single mothers are also more likely to lose their homes. Single parents who had purchased a home in the 1980s with a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) more than one in ten had lost their home by 2002 because of foreclosure. More than 200,000 single mothers go bankrupt each year. The number of single mothers going broke has increased moe than 600 percent since the early 1980s. If current trends persist, more than one of every six single others will go bankrupt by the end of the decade. Every year more than 300,000 blacks and Hispanic homeowners file for bankruptcy in a desperate attempt to hold on to their homes. Hispanic homeowners are nearly three times more likely than white homeowners to file for bankruptcy, and black homeowners are more than six times more likely. 8, 9, 13, 81, 82, 83, 105, 159

    During the 1970s a single earner couple had about the same chances of getting divorced as a dual-income couple. By the 1990s a working wife was 40 percent more likely to divorce than her stay-at-home counterpart. Over the past twenty-five years the number of children whose mothers have never married has increased eightfold. The number of unmarried couples rearing children has increased eightfold. Approximately four in ten children will spend some time in a cohabiting family before they turn sixteen. Since the 1970s involuntary job loss has increased 150%, wage-earner misses work due to illness or disability up 100%, divorce up 40%, lacking health insurance up 49%, wage-earner misses work to care for sick child or elderly family member up 1,000%. A generation ago Mom’s earnings were used to cover treats and extras. Baks and loan companies routinely ignored women’s earnings in calculating whether to approve a mortgage. In 1975 Congress passed an important law with far-reaching consequences for family housing choice. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act stipulated that lenders could no longer ignore a wife’s income when judging whether a family earned enough for a mortgage. By the early 1980s women’s participation in the labor force had become a significant factor in whether a married couple could buy a home. As recently as 1976s a married mother was more than twice a likely to stay home with her children as to work full-time. By 2000 those figures had almost reversed. The modern married mother is now nearly twice as likely to have a full-time job as to stay home. In 1965 only 21 percent of working women were back at their jobs within 6 months of giving birth to their first child. Today, that figure is higher than 70 percent. A modern other with a three-month old child as likely to be working outside the home than was a 1960s woman with a five-year-old child. Since the 1960s women’s wages have grown ten times faster than men’s. Today employed women with children earn just 4 percent less than their childless sisters. 85, 86, 88, 29, 30, 102

    It wasn’t until the 1980s that Congress passed a series of laws that guaranteed women all around the country the opportunity to garnish their ex-husband’s paychecks. Congress ordered uniform support guidelines in 1984. The penalties for nonpayment have stiffened. In some states a man who falls behind on his child support payments stands to lose his driver’s license or his work permit (such as a contractor’s license). He may even be thrown in jail. Today, federal and state governments spend more than $3 billion on child support enforcement, compared with less than $400 million in the mid-1970s. Since 1976, the proportion of women receiving child support has increased 17 percent for divorced mothers and 300 percent for never-married mothers. According to one survey, nonresident fathers who earned more than 95 percent of their court-ordered child support. Among fathers who were steadily employed, including low wage workers, 80 percent of their wives reported receiving full payment. About two-thirds of nonpayers do not pay because they are not legally required to pay; they have no paternity established or they are separated bu not yet divorced. Nonpayers are far more likely to have low incomes and to live in poverty. According to one estimate, six out of ten nonresident fathers who fail to pay child support either have low incomes, are substance abusers, or have outstanding obligations to support new children. According to one study of men who experienced a sharp drop in earnings, only 4 percent were able to persuade the courts to lower their child support payments. 103, 116, 117

    A recent study showed that the average police officer could not afford a median priced home on the officer’s income. The same is true for elementary school teachers. Without a working spouse the family of a police officer or teacher is forced to rent an apartment or buy in a marginal neighborhood. In the 1980s the mortgage lending industry was deregulated and the average family could find plenty of banks willing to issue them larger mortgages relative to their incomes. Subprime lending ensnares people who, in a regulated market, would have had access to lower cost mortgages. Researchers have concluded that at least 40 percent of those who were sold ruinous subprime mortgages by Citibank would have qualified for prime-rate loans. In 2002 Citibank’s subprime lending subsidiary was prosecuted for deceptive marketing practices and the company paid $240 million to settle the case, at the time the largest settlement of its kind. In finances long term commitments are the most dangerous kind. Sometimes they are unavoidable, such as when you buy a home or go to college. But whenever possible, go for a shorter commitment, since that will give you what you most need in times of trouble – flexibility. So, for example, choose a 36 month car loan instead of a 60 month commitment. If that drive the payment up too high, then heed the warning, you cannot afford this car and you should opt for something cheaper. Once you pay off this car, hang on to it for an extra year or two and keep making payments to yourself. After two or three times around, you can pay for your car in advance, giving yourself that much more flexibility in your budget. 31, 135, 166

  9. My question is why has social security notcher able release disability funds that were paid by employees and employers.? Once a worker becomes disabled they have a right to request their assistance as needed It should not be left up to states’ or politicians to decide if they should be able to do so.

  10. Are divorced women able to file a restricted application on their ex husbands social security at full retirement age and keep working until age 70 when they can switch to their own social security?

    • Hi Shirley, if you turn 62 before January 2, 2016, deemed filing rules will not apply if you file at full retirement age or later. This means that you may file for either your spouse’s (divorced spouse)benefit or your retirement benefit without being required or “deemed” to file for the other. In this case, you may also restrict your application to apply only for spouse’s (divorced spouse) benefits and delay filing for your own retirement in order to earn delayed retirement credits. However, if you turn age 62 on or after January 2, 2016, you are required or “deemed” to file for both your own retirement and for any benefits you are due as a spouse, no matter what age you are.

  11. The duties of social security administration officials and the importance of social security administration in should be taught tin high school so that both men and women know how they are affected by this great government organization.
    Also SSA should recruit and train people who can be relied upon in providing excellent service to the people. As a of now some SSA officials don’t understand the rules, consequently, they deprive citizens of their benefits. Just recently auditors discovered that beneficiaries were wrongly deprived of their entitlements by SSA officials. Even when you correct these officials, they hold tenacious to their wrong decisions without caring a hoot about your losses simply because they know that you are ignorant of their rules and operations.

    • Can i receive part of my husbands social security if we are both retired he is 71 and i am 73 his benefits are twice as much as mine

      • Hello Margaret. Generally, during your initial interview, when you apply for Social Security benefits, we typically explore other possible eligibility that could yield you a higher benefit amount.
        There are factors to consider. First, your spouse’s benefit can be equal to one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount -only- if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age.
        Then, if a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. Finally, when you’re eligible and qualify for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.
        To find out if you are eligible for a higher benefit, contact us at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter waiting time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  12. I AM TURNING 65 in july 03,2017,i am already receiving social security,will the amount of my check increase at that time?

  13. As a long term homemaker, now divorced– when my Disability benefit automatically became my SS benefit I was not given the option of claiming my husbands SS benefit. Is this something I needed to apply for?

    • Thank you for your question. Thanks for your question. Here are the requirements to receive benefits if you are divorced:
      • You are unmarried;
      • You are age 62 or older;
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. This means that if you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your spouse’s record is higher, you will get an additional amount on that record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. For more information, check out our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced webpage.

      We recommend that you read our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know” for more important information. Thanks!

  14. If when applying for Soc. Sec Disability I was divorced, denied 2 x, then approved 12 months later by then I had remarried for about 3 months should I have been paid as divorced at the time ?????

    • Hi, thanks for your question. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you had to be married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, be age 62 or older and you cannot be eligible for a higher benefit on your own record. For more information on how to qualify for divorced spouse benefits, visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced webpage. If you have specific questions, you can call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Or contact your local office directly.

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  16. I applied for widow benefits in August 2016 and was told I would start receiving check in November 2016. I received letter January 1st, 2017 that they could not pay me at this time. What happened? How can I start receiving my checks. I am 62 years old and soon to be 63.

    • Hi Mary. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can address in this blog. We urge you to call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Or, you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks.

  17. Everything that you wrote in this column applies to men just as much as it applies to women. I’m a man, but if I were a woman, I’d be insulted by the condescending tone of this blog post. Everything about this blog post infers that women are intellectually inferior to men which, of course, is not true.

  18. Why is it that my husbands ex wife ho never, ever, in her entire life worked one hour, or contributed to SS with $1 (in her life) and finally divorced him 15 years ago, is now, after he (my husband), gave her two houses, for her to live in one, and rent the other house as to receive an income for the rest of her life, without still working, and she in now waiting for him to retire at age 67 and expects that the SS will pay her a retirement amount based on her ex husbands retirement amount (after 15 years divorced), while he, my husband had to start all over again and is currently paying a mortgage were he owes more than 90% of the house value, and I his wife for 20 years need to continue working until 67 to receive maybe the same amount than his ex wife who never worked, who received 2 houses, and now is seeking for SS retirement income. Isn’t that gross? Unethically disturbing? Unfair above all logic?
    I would understand if the poor ex wife was left with nothing and is sick therefore could not work to wait 20 years until his ex husband retires and then she could receive something, but if she is golfing, and playing tennis, and going to the beach all day, not counting her extensive travels overseas, why on earth then has the SS to pay his ex wife nothing, while by the other hand SS constantly claims that there is no money left for the next 20 years for the truly workers?
    Somebody needs to explain this to me.!!! Thank you,

  19. My wife is older than I by almost 2 years. She would like to retire soon. If she retires and files for S.S., can she draw her S.S. then reestablish her S.S. after I file and start to withdraw?

  20. i am sixty five and remarried two yrs ago, my husband is 59 not yet retired. I took my social security in 2017 , can I draw my present husband social security even though he is not retired yet? deb

    • Hello Charles, your wife may be able to get benefits if she is at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. Your spouse can also qualify for Medicare at age 65. See our Benefits Planner for more.

  21. I need to know if my ex-husbands benefits are more than mine. I have never remarried and I was thinking of trying to get a higher benefit than I get now! Is this possible?

  22. I am needing to know if I would qualify for any benefits since my husband is on disability. I am working full time.

    • Hello Susan, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. You can still work while you receive Social Security benefits. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. Visit our Benefits Planner: Getting Benefits While Working for more information. Thanks!

  23. wife of 35 years. Multiple sclerosis so I’m unable to work receiving disability. Very small $$. Can I collect of from my husbands social security? ???
    I am 56 he is 60.
    He is Currently unemployed desperately searching for a job. AGE DISCRIMINATION (in his field. )

    Thank u.

    • Thank you for your question, Pamela. You may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits.
      The earliest age a person can apply for their (reduced) retirement benefits is 62.

  24. im turning 62 in January. can I draw on previous husband benefits since he made more money than my current husband?
    what do I need to do to be started on my benefits?

  25. My sister did not live with my spouse due to physical and emotional abuse. He did not pay any child support and would not divorce. He fled and couldn’t find him for years till he passed away. SS is denied my sister benefits citing she did not live with him. How can this be correct?

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