Friday, March 18, 2011

Social Security problems

The time has come for Cliff to file for Social Security; we did that this past week.  Yesterday, we got a letter from Social Security.  
There's a problem.  It's our government, right?  
Of course there's a problem.  
Cliff worked for R.B. Rice in 1985, 1986, and 1987.  When he started working there, Sara Lee was the company that owned R.B. Rice.  The next year another outfit bought R.B. Rice; I think it was General Foods, but who knows.  In 1987, Sara Lee bought R.B. Rice once again.  And then, the local R.B. Rice company shut down and moved to Tennessee, and Cliff was out of work.  
For some reason, Social Security has no record of Cliff working in 1986.  Now, we know he was working at R.B. Rice, but so far I haven't found our income tax records from that far back.  I'm not sure I have them.  The man we spoke with today said it could make a difference in how much money Cliff draws from Social Security when he retires.  We're at a loss here.  
Is there a chance we could contact R.B. Rice?  Trouble is, Cliff's employer shows up as Sara Lee, not R.B. Rice.  During the missing year, Sara Lee wasn't the owner.  
If I remember correctly, back in those days we went to H & R Block to get our taxes done.  I wonder if they have records from that long ago.  
Cliff has worked steadily since 1962, and somehow that one missing year could change the amount of money he draws in retirement.  Good grief.  
On the other hand, there's good news:  It seems I'm going to be able to collect spousal benefits now, which supposedly is going to let me draw "significantly" more social security.  I wish I had some idea how "significant" the difference will be.  I'll find out in a couple of weeks when they call me.  
I hate having issues like this.  

*update:  I called the number for H & R Block; they only have records going back four years.  The lady I spoke with suggested I contact the IRS.  

*update #2:  My Jewish friend, Meesha, left a link in my comments that looks very promising.  There's a form to fill out, and it's going to cost me $57.  If they can't help me I get my money back; if they do help me, it's well worth the money.  I wish I could tell you folks how many times Meesha has given me good advice, not to mention good recipes.  The only times I have ignored his advice is when he gives his opinion of Apple products; now I'm starting to wonder if David led me astray on this subject.  


Margaret said...

Not a good time of year to contact the IRS; you'll be on hold or lost in their phone system a long time. :( Hope it works out!!

kcmeesha said...

you may need to order a free transcript and see what happens.

Donna said...

Meesha, I think I love you.

Lindie said...

One of these days I am going to make an appointment with either the social security office or IRS and see why they come up with the amounts they say were earned each year. It's never the amounts I have on my taxes! I started getting SS this year, on my husbands earnings. I guess I could have started a year earlier. You live and learn. When I turn 70 I can collect on my own earnings which will be a larger amount. If there still is a SS.

Lori said...

I hope you are able to get it straightened out and soon.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I do hope that the IRS can help you out or that you can find your tax return. How odd that they would have a missing year.

Hyperblogal said...

Oh Lord, don't tell him you love him or he'll have his nose pressed up against your living room window. And, remember, 1 year and no ad bots, no viruses, no nothing. :)

Anonymous said...

i think the spousal benefits is you can draw half of what he will. So let's say if he can draw $1400 a month then the wife can get $700.


Anonymous said...

Donna the IRS has records of all your W-2 forms. All you have to do is contact them and pray.