Present-day column addresses issues about whether — and when — severance and paid out time off count as wages beneath Social Security’s earnings check, some prospective results of filing early and some specifications for divorced spousal advantages to be paid. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Financial Stability Planning, Inc, which markets Increase My Social Stability and MaxiFi Planner.

See much more Question Larry responses in this article.

Have Social Protection thoughts of your have you’d like answered? Check with Larry about Social Protection right here.


Do My Severance Shell out, PTO & Getaway Shell out Depend As Earned Money For Social Stability?

Hi Larry, I started off getting my Social Protection widow’s added benefits January 2019. I just obtained a letter stating that they can’t pay out my gains from January 2019 through April 2019 since I was doing the job. I was not working. I was on short term incapacity amassing New Jersey small expression incapacity and disability by the corporation that I labored for. I was supplied severance compensation, compensated PTO and family vacation pay. Can these payments demonstrate as earned income?

When I utilized to Social Safety, I asked if can I get momentary disability and widow’s benefits and was explained to of course and now they are hunting for me to return $10k. Thanks, Amy

Hi Amy, Yes. Any compensation you obtained for which you acquired a W-2 type would probably be regarded to be earned money for uses of the Social Safety earnings check, but if you very last labored in 2018 then anything you ended up paid out in 2019 could very likely be excluded from counting toward the 2019 earnings test. Social Safety refers to that form of payment as a unique wage payment (SWP), and they use a distinct variety (SSA-131) to document that style of payment.

Centered on your description, it appears like you can in all probability get Social Security to take away the overpayment that you’ve got been notified of by obtaining your former employer finish a type SSA-131 and publishing in to Social Safety. It could work best to start off out by calling Social Safety to reveal the instances, however. Ideal, Larry



Will My Spouse Get Extra If She Information For Spousal Positive aspects?

Hi Larry, My spouse and I both will retire in 2022. I will be 62 and she will be 63. Social Stability shows her at $750 a thirty day period and me at $1,950 a month at that time. Would she acquire far more if she submitted for spousal added benefits? Many thanks, Tomás

Hello Tomás, Your spouse can not file for spousal added benefits devoid of getting essential to file for her possess added benefits at the very same time. If you might be drawing your retirement advantages and if your major insurance coverage amount (PIA), which is equal to your full retirement age (FRA) retirement reward total, is much more than 2 times as significantly as your wife’s PIA, she would then be paid out her very own reward furthermore a partial, or excessive, spousal gain. If she begins drawing prior to comprehensive retirement age (FRA), every single advantage charge would then be decreased for age.

You and your spouse may well want to look at applying my company’s software package — Improve My Social Stability or MaxiFi Planner — to analyze your selections prior to determining when to declare your positive aspects. Social Protection calculators supplied by other companies or non-earnings may give good recommendations if they have been designed with serious care. Finest, Larry


Does My Ex’s Benefit Level Require To Be Additional Than Two times As Significantly As Mine For Me To Get Divorced Spousal Advantages?

Hello Larry, I was married from 1965 until eventually 1982. I am 72 and my ex is 79. I have our divorce decree and his birthdate but not his Social Protection variety. How can I find out if I can I apply for divorced spousal added benefits? I get $1,401 prior to they acquire out for Medical insurance coverage. Does his benefit have to have to be 2 times that or even more for me to get positive aspects primarily based on his record? Thanks, Holly

Hello Holly, Generally, of course. Assuming that your ex is residing, 50% of his most important insurance policies amount (PIA) would have to have to be additional than your total PIA in order for you to possibly qualify for divorced spousal advantages. A person’s PIA is equal to their Social Protection retirement gain amount if they start drawing at complete retirement age (FRA). On the other hand, if your ex dies right before you, you could possibly be qualified for the increased of your benefit amount or your ex’s complete reward charge.

Social Safety cannot tell you how significantly your ex is obtaining, but they should be equipped to tell you regardless of whether or not you could be qualified for divorced spousal positive aspects. Or you could basically file for divorced spousal gains in buy to get a formal resolve. If you don’t know your ex’s Social Safety amount, you must nonetheless be equipped to file a assert if you furnish enough evidence of your identification and connection. Greatest, Larry