Social Security Tips for October, 2018

Social Security is committed to protecting and securing the information entrusted to us.

Our online benefits application provides a high level of security and protection for the information provided.




Filing online gives your clients the freedom and convenience to file for various types of benefits including Retirement, Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare.

Please note the following steps your client needs to take to file online:

  1. Review the information on our Retirement/Spouse’s, Disability, Medicare, or Supplemental Security Income Benefits page to make sure they meet the requirements to apply for benefits online and have the information they will need to do so.


  1. Create or sign in to their personal my Social Security.


  1. File their claim online.


  1. Check the status of their claim by signing in to their personal my Social Security account.

After they complete the online application, we provide a confirmation number to check the status, and information on what to do next. If we are not able to process the request, we will provide specific information on how to contact us by phone or schedule an office appointment.






The Acting Inspector General of Social Security is warning citizens about ongoing Social Security Administration (SSA) impersonation schemes. SSA and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently received several reports of suspicious phone calls claiming to be from SSA.


These phone calls are becoming prevalent in West Michigan. Many reported incidents indicate they are receiving an automated recording which states the person’s Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity,” and the person should contact a provided phone number immediately to resolve the issue. The call concludes by stating if the person does not contact the provided phone number, the person’s assets will be frozen until the alleged issue is resolved.


SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone. If a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via


Whenever anyone has suspicions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)




The Q&A for the month:


Question: My client is about to turn 62 at which time she would like to begin taking her social security benefit.  When she turns 65 is she eligible to receive the spousal benefit instead (1/2 of her spouse’s benefit)?

Answer: When your client files for retirement benefits, she will also file for spouse’s benefits, if she is due additional spousal benefits. If her spouse hasn’t yet filed, then she will only file for retirement benefits. When her spouse does file, we will check to see if she is due additional benefits on their record at that time. Your client’s full retirement benefit amount must be less than half of her spouse’s full retirement benefit amount in order for her to be due additional spouses benefits. If it is less than half, she will file but she will not be due 50% because she took her retirement portion early.

See example of the computation:

His Benefit at Full Retirement Age (FRA): $2250.00

Her Benefit at FRA: $200.00

Her Benefit that she’s receiving: $150.00

Husband now files, she is now past her full retirement age. She is now filing for spousal benefits:

½ of his full benefit is $1125.00

Minus her full benefit of $200.00

Equals $925.00 payable to her as a spouse now that he has filed.

Add her current benefit to that ($150 + $925) and her total benefit is now $1075. which is not half of his ($1125) because she took her portion early.

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