Social Security Tips for December, 2017

 

Will getting married affect benefits?

 

You could have clients getting engaged this holiday season. Be prepared to answer their inevitable question – will getting married affect my benefits?

 

If receiving Social Security disability or retirement benefits and they marry, their benefit will stay the same. Here’s how marriage may affect other benefits:

 

Benefits for a widow, divorced widow, widower or divorced widower

  • If receiving any of those types of benefits, the individual can remarry after age 60 (age 50 if disabled) and the remarriage will not affect the benefits.
  • If the remarriage occurs before age 60, the individual is not eligible for the benefits.
  • If the remarriage occurs before age 50, the individual is not eligible for disabled widow(er)s benefits.

 

Divorced spouse’s benefits

  • Generally, benefits end if they remarry.

 

Benefits for a child under age 18 or student ages 18 or 19

  • Benefits end if they marry.

 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • If an individual is receiving SSI and they marry, their new spouse’s income and resources may change their SSI benefit; or
  • If both are receiving SSI and they get married, then their benefit amount will change from an individual rate to a couple’s rate.

 

Call 1-800-772-1213 between 7am and 7pm to report the marriage right away to prevent any overpayment from occurring.

 

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Here’s a Q&A for the month:

Question: For higher income individuals, do they pay the $134 a month, plus whatever bracket they are in, or just the new amount?

For example, we have a booklet that indicates a single individual for 2017 who had income two years ago in the $107,001-$160,000 bracket would pay $267.90.  However, I have a client who says he is being charged both the $267.90 and the $134 per month.  He showed me the Social Security stub, and it is as he says. They are also charging him $54 for Part D, but he is not required to have Part D as he is covered through his previous employer.

Answer: Yes, the individual pays the standard premium plus the increase.https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0601101020;https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0601101031

When someone has IRMAA for Part D, even though they’re not enrolled in a Part D plan, it doesn’t seem logical at first glance. However, the beneficiary may be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan that has prescription drug coverage (which is extremely common). That means they pay the Part D IRMAA premium as well as the Part B IRMAA premium. In addition, even though they may not have chosen to have their Part C or D premiums withheld from their monthly benefit, the IRMAA-D premium will be deducted from their Social Security benefit.

 

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