OIG Reveals Social Security Underpayments to Thousands of Spouses | Law Firm Newswire

OIG Reveals Social Security Underpayments to Thousands of Spouses

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 22, 2014 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) owes thousands of Americans higher benefits, amounting to millions of dollars in total.

SSA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) – the agency's internal watchdog – recently conducted an internal audit that revealed failures to increase some retirees' benefits properly.

“The problem lies with some retirees' receipt of spousal benefits,” explained elder law attorney Andrew Hook. “These retirees initially claimed spousal benefits, but they later became eligible for higher benefits based on their own employment. Social Security failed to notify them of that fact.”

The OIG designated two categories of underpaid beneficiaries. First are those who, at full retirement age, claimed spousal benefits, but who are now eligible for a higher payment on their own benefits due to delayed retirement credits. Second are those who claimed their benefits before full retirement age and who were given spousal benefits even though their own employment entitled them to greater benefits at that time.

The problems have resulted from an SSA failure to apply what is known as the “deemed filing provision.” The OIG claims to be highly confident that between 22,000 and 30,000 spouses are eligible for higher retirement benefits. The estimated due total is between $132 million and $258 million.

The OIG first uncovered the underpayments in a 2008 audit. It created a notification letter and asked SSA to send it to those beneficiaries who might be affected. The agency did not dispute the findings, but claimed it lacked the funds and staff to send the letter.

In its recent follow-up audit, the OIG said that SSA owes underpaid beneficiaries both higher ongoing payments and back payments. And it pointed out that because SSA already notifies widows and widowers of the possibility of greater benefits at full retirement age and again at age 70, the agency should be able to add more beneficiaries to its process.

“If you receive spousal benefits from Social Security, or if you are turning 70 and claimed Social Security at full retirement age, you may be eligible for increased benefits,” added Hook. “If you think these circumstances may apply to you, visit your Social Security office or your elder law or estate planning attorney for assistance. You should also check your Social Security work record to make sure it is complete.”

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • Funding Pooled Special Needs Trusts after Age 65
    <p>Over the course of the last year, one of the major developments in special needs law has centered around the funding of pooled special needs trusts after age 65. Historically, policy on this issue has been inconsistent among the states, and advocates have fought for clarification on policy. Recently, the issue has been heard at [...]</p>
    <p><a class="btn btn-secondary bravehart-read-more-link" href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/08/02/funding-pooled-special-needs-trusts-after-age-65/">Read More...</a></p>
    <p>The post <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/08/02/funding-pooled-special-needs-trusts-after-age-65/" target="_blank">Funding Pooled Special Needs Trusts after Age 65</a> first appeared on <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/" target="_blank">Hook Law Center</a>.</p>
  • Recent Updates: Dental Benefits Under Virginia Medicaid, Medicaid Treatment of COVID-19 Relief Payments, & COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
    <p>New Dental Benefits Available             Starting on July 1, 2021, adults over age 21 who are receiving full Medicaid and FAMIS benefits are now eligible to receive comprehensive dental benefits through Virginia’s dental program, Smiles For Children, administered by DentaQuest.  Covered dental services include: cleanings and preventive care, X-rays and exams, fillings, partials and dentures, [...]</p>
    <p><a class="btn btn-secondary bravehart-read-more-link" href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/27/recent-updates-dental-benefits-under-virginia-medicaid-medicaid-treatment-of-covid-19-relief-payments-covid-19-funeral-assistance/">Read More...</a></p>
    <p>The post <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/27/recent-updates-dental-benefits-under-virginia-medicaid-medicaid-treatment-of-covid-19-relief-payments-covid-19-funeral-assistance/" target="_blank">Recent Updates: Dental Benefits Under Virginia Medicaid, Medicaid Treatment of COVID-19 Relief Payments, & COVID-19 Funeral Assistance</a> first appeared on <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/" target="_blank">Hook Law Center</a>.</p>
  • Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Highlights Flaws in the Legal System
    <p>Britney Spears was once one of the most famous pop stars on the planet. Her rise to fame made her a household name and led her to financial success, but by many accounts, her personal life suffered significantly under the strain of her notoriety. In 2008, Britney Spears was a part of several highly publicized [...]</p>
    <p><a class="btn btn-secondary bravehart-read-more-link" href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/26/britney-spears-conservatorship-highlights-flaws-in-the-legal-system/">Read More...</a></p>
    <p>The post <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/26/britney-spears-conservatorship-highlights-flaws-in-the-legal-system/" target="_blank">Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Highlights Flaws in the Legal System</a> first appeared on <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/" target="_blank">Hook Law Center</a>.</p>
  • Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro accepted into the Southeast Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    <p>Shannon A. Laymon-Pecoraro, CELA, and Shareholder at Hook Law Center, P.C., has been accepted into the inaugural class of the Southeast Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The Southeast Fellows Institute was created by ACTEC Fellows to develop the profession’s future leaders in trust and state law through a [...]</p>
    <p><a class="btn btn-secondary bravehart-read-more-link" href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/19/shannon-laymon-pecoraro-accepted-into-the-southeast-fellows-institute-of-the-american-college-of-trust-and-estate-counsel/">Read More...</a></p>
    <p>The post <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/19/shannon-laymon-pecoraro-accepted-into-the-southeast-fellows-institute-of-the-american-college-of-trust-and-estate-counsel/" target="_blank">Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro accepted into the Southeast Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel</a> first appeared on <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/" target="_blank">Hook Law Center</a>.</p>
  • Recent Development in the Law: Strope-Robinson v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.
    <p>Transfer on Death Deeds (commonly referred to as a TOD deed) have been a popular estate planning tool in Virginia for years. TOD deeds, like any other deed, convey real property from one person to another. While they are recorded prior to the grantor-homeowner’s death they do not become effective until after the grantor’s death, [...]</p>
    <p><a class="btn btn-secondary bravehart-read-more-link" href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/07/recent-development-in-the-law-strope-robinson-v-state-farm-fire-casualty-co/">Read More...</a></p>
    <p>The post <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/2021/07/07/recent-development-in-the-law-strope-robinson-v-state-farm-fire-casualty-co/" target="_blank">Recent Development in the Law: Strope-Robinson v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.</a> first appeared on <a href="https://hooklawcenter.com/" target="_blank">Hook Law Center</a>.</p>

Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required