The government’s new budget deal has made a big splash, but do you really know how it will affect you personally? If you don’t, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to cut through the legal jargon and get to the truth of the matter. At Summit Disability Law Group, it’s our job to do just that. Here are three key points about the new budget deal:
You can Kiss “File-and-Suspend” Goodbye
When the reforms at the Social Security Administration go into effect this April, several things will change. The new budget deal has eliminated the “file-and-suspend” method. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this is a claiming strategy that has been used by many married couples. The idea is that if only one spouse files for Social Security benefits, the other can collect spousal benefits while still working. By suspending your own retirement benefits while you worked and collecting spousal benefits, your retirement benefits would increase by 8 percent each year until you turned 70. However, file-and-suspend strategies are being replaced by what is called “deemed filing.” This simply means that if you file to collect spousal benefits before you turn 70, you can no longer suspend your own retirement benefits. At this point, filing for spousal benefits will result in the SSA concluding that it is time for you to collect retirement benefits. They will pay you whichever of the two benefits that provides the greatest amount of money.
If you or your spouse will turn 62 by the end of this year or 66 by April 29th of next year, there are some exceptions to these new rules that may apply to you. If you meet those standards and want to explore your possibilities with “file-and-suspend” benefits before it’s too late, let us know and we will do our best to help you.
The New Budget Deal is Good News for your Pending Disability Case
If you’re one of the thousands of people who have been waiting for months to have your disability case heard, this new budget deal is good news for you. The new budget includes the funding necessary to increase the number of judges working disability cases from 1,450 today to 1,925 by 2017. It’s possible that one of these new judges will be the one to finally look over your pending disability case and get you the benefits you deserve.
These Reforms are a Good First Step
While these changes in the budget may be inconvenient for many, this is the first major reform we’ve seen in the Social Security program since 2000. And we all know that Social Security is a system in need of some repair. According to Forbes Magazine, without this reform, Social Security would “run out of money by 2033 and only be able to meet roughly 77% of its future obligations at that point.” While this budget deal hasn’t solved all the problems with Social Security and disability, it’s a good first step.
These changes are a big deal. If you’ve reached retirement age or are still trying to get your disability case through the system, don’t rely on internet articles to get answers to your specific questions. Let us answer them for you. Contact us for a free consultation today.