Why can’t I find my local Social Security office phone numbers online?
Unfortunately, the SSA recently removed all local district phone numbers from the SSA website. You will need to call the 800# and wait on hold, which can take up to 30-45 minutes or more.

 

The SSA isn’t taking my taxes out of my Social Security benefits. Can I switch to having my taxes withdrawn, so I don’t have to pay a large tax bill when I file my tax return?
Unfortunately, you can’t simply call your local SSA and ask them to start taking out your taxes. You will need to print out a form W-4V, fill it out, and mail it to the Social Security offices. That will get you back on track for the rest of your retirement when it comes to your tax liability for your Social Security.

 

Can I garnish my ex-spouse’s Social Security to pay for back child support or alimony?
Yes, if they are actively drawing benefits, you may be able to garnish their Social Security. If your ex-spouse isn’t yet collecting Social Security, you expect them to be in the near future, we recommend having the paperwork ready and notifying the SSA in advance to make sure you have the correct documentation to file.

 

My ex-spouse and I had a prenup. Does that disqualify me from filing on their Social Security benefits?
A prenup should not impact your ability to draw Social Security off your ex-spouse as long as you were married for over ten years and you have not remarried. If your divorce decree states that you gave up all rights to retirement from your ex-spouse, that will not impact your ability to draw Social Security benefits off your ex-spouse. For example, if you were married to your ex for 15 years before you divorced, you’ve been divorced for five years, you are both 62, you haven’t remarried, and half of your ex’s total Social Security benefit is more than all of yours, you can file on your ex’s benefits. Your ex doesn’t need to give you permission, and they don’t even need to know you are filing. Call the SSA, and they will walk you through the process.

 

How do I find out how much my ex-spouse made in their highest 35 years of earnings for Social Security if they won’t tell me?
This is a great question and it’s more common than you might think. To find out if you’re better off drawing Social Security benefits off your ex-spouse because half of their monthly benefit is more than all of yours, only the SSA can tell you. However, this is not something you can call the SSA office and ask for without documentation that you were married. You will need the original or a certified copy of your marriage license. (A copy can be obtained from the Department of Vital Statistics in your state.) The entire process may take a while, so you will want to start this process before signing up for your Social Security.

 

I want to file on my ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits, but they told me they won’t take their Social Security until their FRA, so I can’t draw on their benefits. Am I just out of luck?
While it may be hard to fathom that an ex-spouse would not take their Social Security only to keep you from filing on their benefit, I have some good news. If you are married, you cannot draw Social Security off your spouse until your spouse is already taking their benefit. But, if you’re divorced, your ex does not have to be drawing their Social Security benefit for you to file on theirs if you are both 62, you haven’t remarried, and half of his monthly benefit totals more than your full monthly benefit. Additionally, you must not be working full-time and not earning more than $20,000. Call or visit your local Social Security office to start the process. You will not need to get your ex-spouse’s permission, nor do they even need to know.

 

I am currently drawing Social Security benefits off of my ex-spouse, but I just found out they will be going to prison. Will this stop my benefits?
If you’re drawing Social Security benefits off of your spouse or ex-spouse and your spouse/ex-spouse is incarcerated for over 30 days, their Social Security benefits will stop. But your benefits, which are off of your spouse/ex-spouse, will continue.

 

If I’m taking Social Security, can’t I also sign up for Medicare?
Years ago, people typically received both Social Security and Medicare coverage when they turned 65. While this still rings true for Medicare, the age at which you receive your full Social Security retirement benefits (referred to as your “Full Retirement Age” or “FRA”) is different for some people. It now depends on when you were born.

You cannot take Medicare early. However, your Social Security can be taken as early as 62, although you will receive a reduced monthly benefit than if you waited. (Click here to find your FRA.)

Have questions regarding when and how you should take your Social Security benefits? Contact the Advisors of Osiwala Financial Group to discover what options you have and what will work the best for your situation. Click HERE to meet by phone, in-office, or virtually. Not ready to meet? Download our Social Security Decisions Guide and learn the ins and outs of this valuable benefit.