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Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Old Nov 18th 2017, 12:08 am
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Thumbs down Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Greetings,

New member.

UK citizen, residing in USA for last 16 yrs. with green card. Have been getting UK pensions for last few years, one since I turned 60, one since I turned 62. I just turned 65 in March.

Husband is American, and has been on US SS disability income for last 6-7 years. He is 60 yrs. old.

So, before I turned 65, I applied for USA SS benefits and for Medicare health insurance. I have been several times to local SS office in our area to complete applications and to take to an agent with questions.

I always was assured that I would qualify for Medicare when I turned 65, and for SS benefits also.

I did qualify for Medicare. In fact, they explained to me that since I was being offered Medicare now, I had to take it. The only clincher - since my husband is not 62 yrs. old yet, I would have to pay over $415/month for Part B, and $134/month for Part A like everyone else does. So, I had to take this, but I have to pay $549/month for the two parts.

As for SS benefits, we waited from January until just two weeks ago to hear from them with their decision. During these 10-11 months, the local SS office has consistently told us - you will definitely be eligible for something. SS will look at your credits to see if you have enough here. (I don't.) Then they will write to the UK Pension offices and see if by combining your UK and USA credits together, you could have enough to get a USA benefit. (How in the world they can combine "credits" from two entirely different systems in an attempt to get me 40 credits in the USA I don't know.) THEN, if I still don't qualify, they will give me benefits because of my husband, and I will get 50% of what he gets on his disability.

The local SS office has also regularly told us that whether by combining UK and USA credits, OR by going through your husband, you will get at least an amount of 50% of what he earns.

Well, they contacted me a few days ago. They have awarded me $92/month SS retirement benefit.

So... what do I do now? First, they haven't, and probably won't explain to me the calculations of how they came up with that figure.

Second, if I qualify now for USA retirement, I would think that means that by combining my work in UK and USA, they came up with 40 credits total. In that case, would I not then be eligible for a full retirement here? Now, I know that by taking USA retirement, the UK could reduce my UK pension. But not that much. How they have come all the way down to $92/month I cannot fathom, and it means the local office misled me all these months.

Also, is it still hold that when my husband turns 62, I will no longer have to pay for Medicare Part B? Now I am getting SS here on my own rights, not because of him. Do I still have to pay for Part B? I guess so, since I don't have 40 credits here without the UK credits.

Finally, would any of this change if I became a USA citizen? I have lived here a long time, so I've already considered applying. Would it help my SS and Medicare situation any?

Whoever reads this, I thank you. Whatever good advice anyone can provide, I appreciate that so much also.

Margaret
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Originally Posted by robmarg2 View Post
As for SS benefits, we waited from January until just two weeks ago to hear from them with their decision. During these 10-11 months, the local SS office has consistently told us - you will definitely be eligible for something. SS will look at your credits to see if you have enough here. (I don't.) Then they will write to the UK Pension offices and see if by combining your UK and USA credits together, you could have enough to get a USA benefit. (How in the world they can combine "credits" from two entirely different systems in an attempt to get me 40 credits in the USA I don't know.) THEN, if I still don't qualify, they will give me benefits because of my husband, and I will get 50% of what he gets on his disability.

The local SS office has also regularly told us that whether by combining UK and USA credits, OR by going through your husband, you will get at least an amount of 50% of what he earns.

Well, they contacted me a few days ago. They have awarded me $92/month SS retirement benefit.
You don't say what your husband's disability amount is, but I'm surprised you don't get 50% of that. Maybe your pre-WEP (see below) amount on your own record is higher? Or maybe if you qualify on your own record, you don't have the option of getting 50% of his SSDI? But my knowledge of SSDI is minimal so leaving that aside...

Originally Posted by robmarg2 View Post
Second, if I qualify now for USA retirement, I would think that means that by combining my work in UK and USA, they came up with 40 credits total. In that case, would I not then be eligible for a full retirement here?
It doesn't work like that. All those credits from the UK do is help you qualify for SS where you wouldn't otherwise do. But they aren't used to calculate what amount of SS you'll get. So, for example, if you have 24 quarters ( 6 years) of US SS contributions, your UK credits (effectively years of contributions) will get you over the 40 quarter requirement. But.. the amount you get will be based on your six years of actual SS contributions. Bear in mind that SS takes into account 35 years of contributions and is also earnings related. So you likely will qualify for a relatively small amount anyway. To get the maximum SS, you would have to have a 35 year record and have earned each year at least the SS earnings limit (~$120k currently).

Originally Posted by robmarg2 View Post
Now, I know that by taking USA retirement, the UK could reduce my UK pension. But not that much. How they have come all the way down to $92/month I cannot fathom, and it means the local office misled me all these months.
I think you mean that the US could reduce your SS because of your UK pensions. This is because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). And in certain scenarios it can really zap your US SS entitlement, especially if your UK pension income is high in comparison to what you are entitled to here.

Originally Posted by robmarg2 View Post
Finally, would any of this change if I became a USA citizen? I have lived here a long time, so I've already considered applying. Would it help my SS and Medicare situation any?
It wouldn't make any difference.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Nov 18th 2017 at 5:42 am.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 5:42 am
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Default Re: Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Firstly you pay $415 for Part A and $134 for part B.

As your husband has not reached 62 years of age, Medicare costs would be based on YOUR level of contributions towards Medicare. Presumably you do not have 40 quarters of contributions via payroll and therefore have to pay Part A which most US citizens, who have payroll contributions, do not.

Does your husband have 40 quarters of contributions towards SS and Medicare?

How may years have you worked in the US and how many in the UK?

I qualified for SS based solely on my husband's contributions as he had 40+quarters of contributions. There was NO enquiry as to my working contributions from the UK.
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Old Nov 18th 2017, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
I qualified for SS based solely on my husband's contributions as he had 40+quarters of contributions. There was NO enquiry as to my working contributions from the UK.
There were some changes last year to the "deemed filing" rules, so I'm not sure that's possible any more. You are now "deemed" to have filed on your own record if you file for spousal benefits. And they will consider your own benefits first.
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Getting UK Pension and US SS Benefits

Thanks to several who replied. To answer one person, my husband gets about $1190/month SS Disability minus the $134/month for Medicare. Yes, he had over 40 credits before he became disabled about 7-8 years ago. Yes, I do receive some UK pensions already.

Someone said that once I qualify for SS by combining my work from here and from the UK, then the amount of that SS would be based on how much I've worked in the USA. Do you have documentation to substantiate that thought?

Thanks.
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