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Social Security Benefits Question - Permanent Resident

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Social Security Benefits Question - Permanent Resident

Old 11-30-2016, 11:43 AM
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Default Social Security Benefits Question - Permanent Resident

I am an American Citizen, born, raised, work and pay taxes in the USA. My wife is an Irish Citizen and is a US Legal Permanent Resident Alien for the past 15 years.

When is comes time to collect Social Security Benefits, will she be entitled to any type of spousal benefit above and beyond what I am entitled to? She does have a SS# but lets assume that she has never paid into SS at this time. Would it make any difference if she applied for United States citizenship, or naturalization? Anyone in the know who can help shed some light would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:03 PM
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What have you been told by the Feds that run the program?
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
What have you been told by the Feds that run the program?
Have not asked them
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:11 PM
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I'm not 100% sure but believe she will be able to collect 1/2 of whatever you collect monthly. This is how it works for a couple who are both US citizens and believe that is the same.
If your spouse worked and paid in SS then she has the choice of either taking 1/2 of yours or her own should it be more.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:37 PM
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My mother in law (Canadian) was in the same boat years ago, after a serious accident to my farther in law it became apparent that she would have problems with the estate and such because she was still on a green card. Something to do with not letting the money out of the country, she went ahead and got her citizenship after that. I would suggest your wife does the same, she can keep her Irish passport.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:09 PM
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Ask the question at a Social Security office to be certain, but you will find that your wife does not need to be a US citizen to receive Social Security benefits, as long as she is here legally. She does have a Social Security number, doesn't she?.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:11 PM
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The way it was explained to me...

I paid into SS, MC for about 43 years. The last 30 of which was maximum.

I receive the maximum in pay out. My wife receives not quiet 1/2 of what I do.

If I pass before her, she will be upgraded to my benefit level until she passes.

Check with Social Security people. If there's an office close by, go in and talk to them, they're very helpful.

Was just trying to calculate how much was paid into my SS account during my working years. Say you earn $70K and pay FICA taxes, for simplicity purposes, of 7%. Employer pays like amount so $4900.00 per year x 2 for $9,800.00 a year x 30 years would be in the area of $290,000. If you start to draw down this amount after 65, you see that it would take a while to deplete the total dollar amount, even if there was no $ earned on the account. Seems like a well funded retirement benefit instead of an "entitlement" or "Ponzi scheme". WTF did those descriptions come from??

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Old 11-30-2016, 03:27 PM
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They did away with the 50% spousal benefit earlier this year. The bigger question is whether or not she's entitled to the higher paying benefit upon your death. I'll check with my source tomorrow.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:34 PM
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
Ask the question at a Social Security office to be certain, but you will find that your wife does not need to be a US citizen to receive Social Security benefits, as long as she is here legally. She does have a Social Security number, doesn't she?.
Yes, she does have a SS#
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Curranfitspatrick View Post
They did away with the 50% spousal benefit earlier this year. The bigger question is whether or not she's entitled to the higher paying benefit upon your death. I'll check with my source tomorrow.
Thanks, appreciate the help. Again, she has never paid in so I don expect at this point she would collect anything under herself, but I thought I heard that she would get the 50% spousal benefit. Just to use round numbers, if I got 2K per month, then she would get 1K per month (total 3K per month).
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by josa1 View Post
The way it was explained to me...

I paid into SS, MC for about 43 years. The last 30 of which was maximum.

I receive the maximum in pay out. My wife receives not quiet 1/2 of what I do.

If I pass before her, she will be upgraded to my benefit level until she passes.

Check with Social Security people. If there's an office close by, go in and talk to them, they're very helpful.

Was just trying to calculate how much was paid into my SS account during my working years. Say you earn $70K and pay FICA taxes, for simplicity purposes, of 7%. Employer pays like amount so $4900.00 per year x 2 for $9,800.00 a year x 30 years would be in the area of $290,000. If you start to draw down this amount after 65, you see that it would take a while to deplete the total dollar amount, even if there was no $ earned on the account. Seems like a well funded retirement benefit instead of an "entitlement" or "Ponzi scheme". WTF did those descriptions come from??

josa1
Stop and think about what you wrote. You paid into a retirement fund and you more than likely will never recover what you gave up, in terms of SS taxes and appreciation in your contributions. If you die early the SS fund receives a bonus. As for the "funding" aspect, you haven't funded any account. Your account is zero....hopefully some workers in the future will be willing to pay your SS benefit.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:41 AM
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Call SS customer service direct. They will answer your question correctly.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:48 AM
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make an appointment at the local ss office and go sit down with them and ask questions. they will take as much time as you need and explain it, in a confidential office area, not standing up at a counter.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by josa1 View Post
The way it was explained to me...

I paid into SS, MC for about 43 years. The last 30 of which was maximum.

I receive the maximum in pay out. My wife receives not quiet 1/2 of what I do.

If I pass before her, she will be upgraded to my benefit level until she passes.

Check with Social Security people. If there's an office close by, go in and talk to them, they're very helpful.

Was just trying to calculate how much was paid into my SS account during my working years. Say you earn $70K and pay FICA taxes, for simplicity purposes, of 7%. Employer pays like amount so $4900.00 per year x 2 for $9,800.00 a year x 30 years would be in the area of $290,000. If you start to draw down this amount after 65, you see that it would take a while to deplete the total dollar amount, even if there was no $ earned on the account. Seems like a well funded retirement benefit instead of an "entitlement" or "Ponzi scheme". WTF did those descriptions come from??

josa1
You also need to add all of the medical benefits to see on average people will take out much more than they ever paid in.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
make an appointment at the local ss office and go sit down with them and ask questions. they will take as much time as you need and explain it, in a confidential office area, not standing up at a counter.
Probably the best course of action.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:00 AM
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Call the ss office and ask them.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.

Call 20 minutes latter and get a different answer.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Curranfitspatrick View Post
They did away with the 50% spousal benefit earlier this year. The bigger question is whether or not she's entitled to the higher paying benefit upon your death. I'll check with my source tomorrow.


Really, first I have heard of this

I would actually go sit and talk with SS office and even though they are slow they will give you all options


May be time for your wife to become a US Citizen just to make sure
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Curranfitspatrick View Post
They did away with the 50% spousal benefit earlier this year. The bigger question is whether or not she's entitled to the higher paying benefit upon your death. I'll check with my source tomorrow.
Not exactly true.

If only one spouse has earned a Social Security benefit, the other spouse is entitled to a spousal benefit just as in the past.

In a family where both spouses earned a Social Security benefit, let's say Spouse A has a $1500 benefit and Spouse is entitled to a $500 benefit. Spouse A is taking the benefit. Spouse B may still apply for a spousal benefit. Let's say the spousal benefit is $750. The benefit will be paid from Spouse B's own benefit first ($500) and the $250 difference from Spouse A's benefit.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html

What Social Security eliminated was the ability to apply for a spousal benefit while allowing your own SS benefit to grow, which is what I started doing 4 years ago and am grandfathered into continuing. When I turn 70, I'll take my own, larger benefit, which is currently continuing to grow at 8% annually.
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