Most people assume that the Social Security Administration is there to give you advise when you are submitting an application for benefits. Not particularly true. Almost 70% of all applicants do NOT have the ability to maximize their benefits when speaking to a Social Security Administration Agent.
One of the largest areas of confusion at the Social Security offices is the filing of restricted applications. A restricted application means the person is not applying for the highest benefits he may be eligible for at the time. For instance, a person could apply for survivor benefits based on a late spouse’s earnings record while he lets his own benefits grow each year until age 70. He would then switch to his own higher benefits at age 70.
Problems arise because the Social Security agents do not have the right tools and are not properly prepared to give the right information to the tsunami of baby boomers coming to them.
More than a year after Congress approved changes to Social Security claiming rules as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, agency representatives continue to deny legitimate claims for spousal benefits by applicants who are clearly grandfathered under prior rules and tell other applicants they can take advantage of claiming rules that no longer exist.
The government agency marks its 79th year with close to 12,000 field offices staffed by helpful and knowledgeable people, but the administration prohibits their employees from engaging in Social Security claiming advice of any kind. Agents are therefore trained in the Social Security rules, but not in claiming strategies.
Additionally, for legal reasons, agents are required to enter your clients’ information into their records on the date they inquire about Social Security benefits, even if they are not planning to begin receiving benefits until a later date. Any calculations performed are based on that date, and facilitates a bias that too often results with clients claiming early.
And let’s not forget the outcry in response to recent cutback in SSA services.
Do NOT take any advise from the Social Security Administration as the Golden Rule! Get a second, third, and even fourth opinion before you file that claim. This is what WE DO at Social Security Benefit Planners. We get the facts and do our best to maximize your benefits. After all, it’s your money!!!