Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: Filing for SS from UK  (Read 409 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Filing for SS from UK
« on: October 19, 2021, 06:11:03 AM »
Anyone done this lately?  I called the US office Friday and they told me I have to go through the embassy Fed. Benefits unit as I have no us phone # or address.  Called embassy yesterday, recorded message says benefits unit only takes phone calls 10am to 1pm 3 days a week (!) and embassy only doing emergency stuff ‘due to Covid’.  This isn’t sounding very promising, I will try calling today in their 3 hour window, anyone have advice or experience with this process recently?  Steeling myself for a frustrating experience.


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 08:50:36 AM »
We are currently in the process of doing this. Read all about it here

https://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=99441.0
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 09:33:13 AM »
Thanks Durhamlad, so when did you start this process, and how long has it taken?  Has your wife actually received any benefits yet?

Also, WEP, I will get a uk state pension eventually, but since I have  more than 40 quarters contributed to US SS my understanding was my SS won’t be reduced by WEP?  Is your wife’s situation different? 

Also, what is this ‘register as a citizen’. ?   I have been one since 2015 but haven’t registered anywhere??

Ta.


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2021, 11:43:22 AM »
Thanks Durhamlad, so when did you start this process, and how long has it taken?  Has your wife actually received any benefits yet?

Also, WEP, I will get a uk state pension eventually, but since I have  more than 40 quarters contributed to US SS my understanding was my SS won’t be reduced by WEP?  Is your wife’s situation different? 

Also, what is this ‘register as a citizen’. ?   I have been one since 2015 but haven’t registered anywhere??

Ta.

I explain the whole process and progress in the thread I linked to, the answers to your question are all in my first post.

Your SS will definitely be impacted by WEP, you need to have 30 years worth of credits before WEP has no effect.

My wife today completed her application for SS benefits to be paid and it went really well so I thought I'd note down the process we went through.

1. In April she contacted the FBU at the US Embassy online using the form below, and asked that she begin to receive her SS
https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/federal-benefits/fbu_email_enquiry/

2. About 6 weeks later she received a phone call and went through an initial interview, at the end of which they asked to schedule a more complete interview to finish the process.  Today they called her, took all her details including UK Bank Account and sort code. The man was very familiar with the UK OAP and since she was not yet receiving it said that she would begin receiving her SS backdated to the day of her email to them and told her what it would be. It was very similar to the estimate she had on her last estimated benefits letter which had accessed online through her account.  She could have chosen a later date.

3. Once she actually starts receiving her OAP she needs to contact them again and have filled out form SSA-308 (below) and this form contains the dates for which she paid voluntary contributions as they don't count towards the WEP calculation. (Windfall Elimination Provision). He said that they at the FBU would contact the DWP to confirm which contribution years were from paid employment.  Her SS payments would then be reduced accordingly.
https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-308.pdf

4. Although she is a USC she has not registered her citizenship with the SSA and she needs to do this, as do I. He said this won't affect her receipt of SS benefits and the application is now complete and she can expect to see payments arriving in her UK bank account within 6 weeks.
To register our citizenship status we should apply for a new SS card and can do this by completing form SSA-5 and sending it to the US Embassy via the Royal Mail Special Delivery service.
https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf

​​​​​​​I hope this info is useful for others going through this process.

I recommend reading that thread as it is not very long. Here are some other posts from that thread.

She was told by the FBU person who interviewed her that once she actually starts receiving her OAP she needs to contact them again and have filled out form SSA-308 (below) and this form contains the dates for which she paid voluntary contributions as they don't count towards the WEP calculation. (Windfall Elimination Provision). He said that they at the FBU would contact the DWP to confirm which contribution years were from paid employment.  Her SS payments would then be reduced accordingly. She plans to download and complete this form and submit it to the FBU once she starts receiving her OAP.

https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-308.pdf

Correct, my wife only has OAP. For sure the OAP counts since all foreign pensions from earned income is considered, as confirmed by the FBU official she talked to.

I have 2 UK private pensions so those will be in play, however I will have 28 years of SS contributions so it should not be much of a hit from WEP. I am waiting until age 70 mainly to maximize the bump in pension my wife will get when I die.

3 months later still no progress. A month ago my wife called and spoke at length with someone in SS in the USA. He said that he would flag her application and she would hear something in 7 days. Still no word, just the same status on the website saying it should be completed by end of July.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2021, 12:09:55 PM »


Your SS will definitely be impacted by WEP, you need to have 30 years worth of credits before WEP has no effect.



Had a quick look and I have 34 years SS credits (god I’m old) so that’s one small victory in this mess. 
Based on another poster saying the process took 11 months from start to finish this is going to be real tricky as my husband was going to claim  spousal benefit for 10 months before claiming his own benefit at 70.  Sounds like he may not even get to apply for the spousal until he’s past 70.


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2021, 12:59:50 PM »
Had a quick look and I have 34 years SS credits (god I’m old) so that’s one small victory in this mess. 
Based on another poster saying the process took 11 months from start to finish this is going to be real tricky as my husband was going to claim  spousal benefit for 10 months before claiming his own benefit at 70.  Sounds like he may not even get to apply for the spousal until he’s past 70.

That is good news on WEP.  I will have 28 years by the time I apply at age 70 as I am still paying FICA through my non-qualified pension reported on a W2 each year.  I will have a small hit through WEP but am not sure yet if and how I can get WEP removed at age 72.

Since it is taking so long I think I would want to do my application at least 6 months ahead of age 70 but the website states that you should apply 4 months ahead of the date you wish to start taking it.  This is 3 years away so hopefully things will have improved by then.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2021, 03:38:58 PM »
That is good news on WEP.  I will have 28 years by the time I apply at age 70 as I am still paying FICA through my non-qualified pension reported on a W2 each year.  I will have a small hit through WEP but am not sure yet if and how I can get WEP removed at age 72.

Since it is taking so long I think I would want to do my application at least 6 months ahead of age 70 but the website states that you should apply 4 months ahead of the date you wish to start taking it.  This is 3 years away so hopefully things will have improved by then.

Shouldn’t you doing a restricted application for spousal benefits now Durhamlad?  Based on when  you say you’ll turn 70 I think you qualify still don’t you?


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 04:12:33 PM »
Shouldn’t you doing a restricted application for spousal benefits now Durhamlad?  Based on when  you say you’ll turn 70 I think you qualify still don’t you?

I don’t think I’ll qualify as I was born in 1955.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/spousal-benefits-until-70.html#:~:text=You%20can%20only%20collect%20spousal,You%20were%20born%20before%20Jan.&text=Your%20spouse%20is%20collecting%20his%20or%20her%20own%20Social%20Security%20retirement%20benefit.

Quote
You can only collect spousal benefits and wait until 70 to claim your retirement benefit if both of the following are true:

You were born before Jan. 2, 1954.
Your spouse is collecting his or her own Social Security retirement benefit.
This makes you eligible to file a “restricted application,” which allows you to collect a spousal benefit while delaying benefits on your own earnings record. To do so, you should state in the remarks section of the application form that you wish to exclude your retirement benefit from the scope of your Social Security claim.

Under a law Congress passed in 2015, people born after Jan. 1, 1954, cannot file a restricted application, regardless of how old they are when they file for benefits. They are covered by what Social Security calls “deemed filing.” When they claim retirement benefits, they are also deemed to be claiming any spousal benefits they are entitled to, except under narrow circumstances.

Keep in mind

If you were born after Jan. 1, 1954, there are only two exceptions to the deemed-filing rule. It does not apply if you receive spousal benefits because you are caring for a child who is under 16 or disabled, or if you get spousal benefits and are also entitled to Social Security disability payments.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2021, 04:30:10 PM »
The calculator below is apparently very good for a couple to determine the best strategy for when each of them should apply for SS.

https://opensocialsecurity.com/

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2021, 06:07:44 PM »
I don’t think I’ll qualify as I was born in 1955.


Oh yeah you just miss, my DH was born ‘52


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2021, 01:26:16 PM »
Quick update to say I have been scheduled for my phone interview to get the ball rolling on December 9th and my husband can attend too to evaluate his spousal claim.  My husband received a phone call in response to an email enquiry he had sent,  and the person he spoke with was familiar with the idea of a restricted spousal application, which is more than can be said of the person at SS in the US who told him he absolutely couldn’t do that.


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2021, 03:23:46 PM »
Quick update to say I have been scheduled for my phone interview to get the ball rolling on December 9th and my husband can attend too to evaluate his spousal claim.  My husband received a phone call in response to an email enquiry he had sent,  and the person he spoke with was familiar with the idea of a restricted spousal application, which is more than can be said of the person at SS in the US who told him he absolutely couldn’t do that.

Excellent, keep us posted.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2022, 06:25:29 PM »
Oh happy day!! Logged into my bank account and noticed an unusual payment, looks like my SS payments have begun, less than 2 months since we filed! My husband received a payment on the same day so looks like his spousal has been processed too.  We haven’t even had notification of how much we would receive, so assume there will be a follow up letter arriving soon.  If not I’ll contact the embassy as I’m not sure what the payment is supposed to represent. Anyway, super please as I expected this to take much longer!  Nice to have some good news on a week when we have a storm, a stock market meltdown and a potential war  :)


  • *
  • Posts: 3213

  • Liked: 547
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2022, 06:36:15 PM »
Oh happy day!! Logged into my bank account and noticed an unusual payment, looks like my SS payments have begun, less than 2 months since we filed! My husband received a payment on the same day so looks like his spousal has been processed too.  We haven’t even had notification of how much we would receive, so assume there will be a follow up letter arriving soon.  If not I’ll contact the embassy as I’m not sure what the payment is supposed to represent. Anyway, super please as I expected this to take much longer!  Nice to have some good news on a week when we have a storm, a stock market meltdown and a potential war  :)

Congratulations, good news indeed. We were in a similar position in that we did not know what the $ figure was after that first payment arrived in our UK bank. Before the letter arrived the online SS account eventually showed the monthly payments.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 53

  • Liked: 2
  • Joined: Jan 2016
Re: Filing for SS from UK
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2022, 11:40:57 AM »
…..and all the paperwork arrived in the mail this morning, explaining what we’ll each get, when we’ll get it, and the time period the first payment is for and also my new SS card. Amazingly I’m essentially getting it all on time, I only had my interview in December, so first payment would have been for January, and then they pay in arrears, so the payment was due in early February and I got it this week.  Considering the experience others have had, and the pandemic, and Christmas and New Year holidays, I’m stunned it’s gone through so quickly.  Also, the spousal is more than I thought it would be.  I thought it would be 50% of my benefit, which I have taken early, but it’s 50% of my benefit at full retirement age.  How SS comes up with these rules is a complete mystery!  My advice to anyone approaching retirement age is to spend a few bucks on the book ‘Get What’s Yours’, run through a good benefits calculator, and don’t just assume the maximum payout will be to wait as long as possible to file.  For us the strategy was for me to claim early with my husband taking only a spousal benefit and postponing his own claim until 70.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 12:14:37 PM by jhunt16723 »


Sponsored Links