Doherty will explain why you can’t always trust that the information you receive from Social Security employees is correct. A recent internal audit found that Social Security underpaid widows and widowers to the tune of $140 million. It turns out widows and widowers are in one of the best positions to maximize their benefits. They can switch between two benefits, either the Survivor Benefit or their own regular benefit. They can even claim the smaller benefit first and then switch to the bigger benefit later. Social Security failed to inform these widows and widowers about all their options, and it ended up costing them a combined total of $140 million in lost income.
Brian will show you exactly how that happened and why you need to be aware of it so it doesn’t happen to you, your family members or your friends. It is not just widows and widowers who are given misinformation; Doherty will share with you his real life experiences of people he advised who received misinformation from the Social Security Administration. That misinformation could have ended up costing them up to $50,000 in lost income had they taken the SSA at its word. Most people think Social Security employees know what they are talking about, but unfortunately that is not always the case. It is critical that you understand your Social Security benefits, or work with a Financial Advisor that does, otherwise it could end up costing you a lot of money.
One word of advice: It may be better to visit the Social Security office nearest you to engage your benefit strategy. If you’re attempting to use the survivor or restrictive application benefits, you may need to speak to a supervisor to confirm benefits like these.
Contributions from the book Guide to Social Security in this press release are used with permission from Light Bulb Press.
Brian Doherty was a co-contributor to this press release.