Social Security/Benefit Adjustments, Reductions, Deductions, and Suspensions

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Social Security
Table of Contents
Social Security Guide
Background Material on Social Security Law
Relationship of Past Earnings to Benefits Received
Benefit Adjustments, Reductions, Deductions, and Suspensions
Spouse Benefits
Child Benefits
Benefits Based on Disability
Administrative Claims Adjudication Process
Judicial Review of Agency Decisions
Representation by Lawyers and Others

Contents

Overview[edit | edit source]

The monthly old-age insurance (retirement) benefit is pegged to a "full retirement age" defined in the Social Security Act (which is between 65 and 67 depending on year of birth). Those who start benefits at that age get their full "primary insurance amount," an amount that is based on their personal earnings history. Those who start benefits prior to that "full retirement age" receive a smaller monthly sum; those who start benefits later, a larger one. Prior to that "full retirement age," benefits are also affected by the worker's continued receipt of significant earned income. Claimants seeking benefits while they continue to work may have their monthly benefit reduced or even eliminated because of the resulting earnings. Lastly, a "Windfall Elimination Provision" reduces the base benefit for individuals who also receive pensions based on employment that was not covered and taxed by Social Security, as for example, work for some government agencies or employment outside the U.S.

Those entitled to a spouse or suriviving spouse benefit who claim benefits prior to their "full retirement age" who do not qualify as "disabled" also have the monthly amount reduced.

Old-age insurance (retirement) benefits are primary benefits; they rest on the claimant's own earnings record rather than the earnings record of another. When a person entitled to old-age insurance benefits is also eligible for a family benefit, as a spouse or surviving spouse, for example, that auxiliary benefit is reduced by the amount of the person's primary benefit. If the auxiliary benefit is larger than the primary, the total amount received by the individual will be that larger amount but the total will be made up of the full primary benefit plus a reduced auxiliary benefit.

Because of this interplay, if a person below his or her "full retirement age" is simultaneously eligible for a reduced spouse benefit, based on the earnings record of a retired or disabled worker, and also a reduced old-age insurance benefit, the individual cannot put off applying for the primary benefits. Application for one is deemed an application for the other. (This is not the case, however, with surviving spouse benefits and old-age insurance benefits.)

Prior receipt of disability benefits, the other form of primary benefits, has no direct effect on the amount of old-age insurance benefits. The disability will, however, result in the period of disability being dropped from the "primary insurance amount" calculation. (This prevents any ultimate old-age benefits from being dragged down by the years of no or low earnings.) If the person continues to receive disability benefits up through the month before he or she reaches the "full retirement age" defined by the Social Security Act (which is between 65 and 67 depending on year of birth), those benefits convert to old-age or retirement benefits at that point without any need to file an application.

When a person is entitled to both an old-age insurance and a disability benefit, he or she can receive only one.

Adjustments Based on the Age at Which Benefits Are Begun[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

All benefits for which entitlement depends in part on attainment of a certain age set the monthly benefit amount in relation to the Social Security Act's "retirement age," an age that is beyond the threshold for eligibility. An individual's "retirement age" or "full retirement age" will be between 65 and 67 depending on year of birth. Benefits that are first claimed prior to the individual's "full retirement age" are reduced to take account of the longer period over which they may be received. The benefit types subject to such an actuarial reduction include old-age insurance (retirement) benefits and both spouse and surviving spouse benefits.

The calculation of this "actuarial reduction" is somewhat different for each of the benefit types. In all cases the amount of reduction is based on the number of months prior to the individual's "full retirement age" for which benefits are claimed. Upon reaching "full retirement age," a claimant's "actuarial reduction" is recalculated if there were previous months in which benefits were not received because of excess earnings. Those months are removed from the number used to calculate the reduction amount.

For old-age insurance benefits (but not spouse benefits) there is also an upward adjustment for individuals who postpone claiming benefits until months or years beyond their "full retirement age."

Old-Age (Retirement) Benefits[edit | edit source]

Throughout most of the Social Security program's history, its benchmark retirement age was 65. Increasingly age-based benefits were made available prior to that age, but only those waiting to start benefits until 65 or later received benefits based on a full percentage of the PIA. In 1983, as part of a comprehensive program revision, Congress enacted a long-term progressive adjustment of what has come to be called the "full retirement age" (previously the "normal retirement age"). A schedule of incremental increases beginning with the cohort of individuals who reached 62 in the year 2000 moves the "full retirement age" from 65 to 67. 42 U.S.C. § 416(l). For an individual turning 62 after 2000 but before 2022 (at which time the "full retirement age" will be 67, the benchmark age lies between 65 and 67. As the age moves back according to the statutory schedule, the total reduction for beginning benefits at the earliest possible age, e.g., 62 for old-age benefits, increases. The reduction formula is 5/9 of 1% for each month up to 36, plus 5/12 of 1% for each additional month. 42 U.S.C. § 402(q)(1). Since old-age or retirement benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, the maximum reduction under this formula is 20% for those whose "full retirement age" is 65, and it will be 30% for those whose "full retirement age" is 67.

Those claiming old-age benefits who wait until after the "full retirement age" have their monthly benefits increased by a "delayed retirement credit." These adjustments for delay end once one reaches age 70. The Act's credit for delaying old-age benefits beyond "full retirement age" has increased in increments. For workers reaching age 65 in 1990, it was 3.5% per year of delay. In successive even numbered years (1992, 1994, and so on) the credit rose .5%. It leveled off at 8% for those turning 65 in 2008 and thereafter. 42 U.S.C. § 402(w).

In addition, the "full retirement age" marks the point beyond which high levels of continuing earnings no longer have an impact on benefits; and for those receiving disability insurance, it is the point at which disability benefits cease and old-age benefits begin.

Spouse and Surviving Spouse Benefits[edit | edit source]

A comparable although not identical adjustment is applied to those claiming spouse or surviving spouse benefits (and their divorced spouse equivalents) prior to "full retirement age." The reduction formula for the spouse of an old-age or disability benefit recipient is 25/36 of 1% for each month up to 36, plus 5/12 of 1% for each additional month. Since spouse benefits of this type can be claimed as early as age 62, the maximum reduction under this formula is 25% for those whose "full retirement age" is 65, 35% for those whose "full retirement age" is 67. Finally, for a surviving spouse, who can claim benefits as early as age 60, a still different formula yields a maximum reduction of 28.5%. 42 U.S.C. § 402(q)(1). The same maximum reduction applies to those surviving spouses who are entitled to benefits prior to age 60 because of disability. In other words, there is no additional reduction even though benefits in such cases may begin as early as age 50. Similarly there is no reduction for periods in which a spouse is eligible for benefits because he or she is caring for a child entitled to child benefits.

No "delayed retirement credit" rewards spouses or surviving spouses who hold off on claiming until after their "full retirement age." The amount of a surviving spouse benefit is, however, reduced or increased if the deceased worker received age-reduced retirement benefits, on one hand, or delayed retirement credits, on the other. 20 C.F.R. § 404.338.

Reductions as a Result of Continued Earnings[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

Earnings received by a disability benefit recipient may demonstrate an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity and thus lead to a finding that the individual is no longer disabled. 20 C.F.R. § 404.401a.

For all other benefit types, there is no such direct connection between entitlement and continuing earned income. However, for all other benefit types there is a reduction formula reflecting the view that benefits are meant to replace earned income, a replacement that is unnecessary if the individual has substantial earned income. This earnings-based reduction does not apply, however, to beneficiaries who have reached the Act's "full retirement age."

For beneficiaries under their "full retirement age," the earnings test operates as follows. First, it disregards earnings below an "annual earnings test." This threshold amount is adjusted each year to take account of increases in average earnings levels in covered work. For the year 2018, the threshold, expressed as an annual figure, is $17,040. Earnings above the threshold, are termed "excess earnings." For every $2 of excess earnings benefits are reduced $1. (Prior to a 2000 amendment, excess earnings, measured by a more generous formula, also reduced benefits of beneficiaries between 65 and 70. That formula still applies to any months of earnings in the year the individual reaches "full retirement age" prior to his or her birthday.) 42 U.S.C. §§ 403(b), 403(f).

The excess earnings reduction applies to the individual's own benefit. In the case of an old-age insurance (retirement) benefits recipient, it also applies to family benefits based on that individual's account. 20 C.F.R. § 404.415.

A comparable reduction applies to beneficiaries working in uncovered jobs outside the U.S. 42 U.S.C. § 403(c).

Benefits Not Affected by Continuing Earnings[edit | edit source]

While, in general, the earnings of an old-age benefit recipient affect the benefits of all family members who receive those benefits on the worker's account, an exception is made for former spouses, divorced some time ago. The Act requires that a divorced spouse have been divorced for at least 2 years before he or she qualifies for that exception. Exempt from the two-year requirement are cases where divorce follows the worker's entitlement to old-age insurance (retirement) benefits. 42 U.S.C. § 403(b)(2).

The earnings of those receiving family benefits on the account of another affect only their own benefits.

Only earned income produces a reduction in benefits. Ordinarily, investment returns including dividends paid on stock have no effect on benefits. And, ordinarily, earnings received by other family members are not counted as earnings of the beneficiary. On the other hand, net income from self-employment is held against the excess earnings test. Because of the need to distinguish self-employment income from passive investment income the characterization of income from a business in which the individual no longer provides substantial services has posed difficulties. The Agency has not always accepted the individual's own characterization or formal legal structures or income tax treatment of the situation. When it appeared that a business had been restructured to convert income that would otherwise be earnings for a beneficiary into investment income or earnings of a close family member, the Agency has, in the past, applied that income against the excess earnings test. However, in 2011 the Agency announced that it would cease "to question earnings reported by corporate officers and self-employed individuals during periods of alleged retirement" and rescinded two Social Security Rulings (SSR 66-18c and SSR 91-1c) that reflected its prior practice. See 76 Fed. Reg. 68,243 (Nov. 3, 2011).

Business expenses of a self-employed person are deducted before the excess earnings test is applied since it is net income from self-employment that counts. On the other hand, wages from employment are counted without any provision for offsetting the worker's expenses. 20 C.F.R. § 404.429.

The Family Maximum[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

With a few exceptions a cap termed the "family maximum" limits the total amount of monthly benefits payable on the account of any one insured. The monthly maximum for an account is the product of a formula applied to the individual's primary insurance amount (PIA). Depending on the level of the PIA the family maximum ranges between 150% of the PIA and a high of 188%. (In the case of disability benefits a slightly different formula applies. It yields, in most cases, a lower figure.) Like the underlying benefits the maximum is adjusted annually to reflect cost of living changes.

When the total benefits that are subject to the family maximum exceed its cap, any benefits payable to the insured (the account holder) are subtracted from it first and the balance is distributed to the family benefit recipients. The latter all receive pro rata shares of their full benefit amounts. 42 U.S.C. § 403(a); 20 C.F.R. § 404.404.

The Special Case of Divorced Spouse Benefits and Other Two Spouse Situations[edit | edit source]

Benefits paid divorced spouses, except when they are mother or father benefits, are not subject to a family maximum reduction nor are benefits paid to a "state law" spouse when there is a second spouse eligible on the basis of a "deemed valid" marriage. 42 U.S.C. § 403(a)(3); 20 C.F.R. § 404.403(a).

The Family Maximum and Reduced Secondary Benefits[edit | edit source]

When one family member is also entitled to benefits on his or her own account, the amount entering into the family maximum calculation is the reduced family benefit. This lightens the impact of the maximum on benefits to other family members. 20 C.F.R. § 404.403(a)(5).

The Family Maximum and Excess Earnings Reductions[edit | edit source]

Benefit reductions as a consequence of "excess earnings" take place prior to the operation of the family maximum. 20 C.F.R. § 404.402(a).

The Treatment of Overlapping Social Security Benefits[edit | edit source]

Primary and Secondary Benefits[edit | edit source]

The Act has a series of provisions that deal with overlapping Title II benefits. These cover situations where an individual is entitled to benefits on the basis of his or her own earnings plus benefits based on a family connection to one or more other insured workers.

The Act's first principle is that primary benefits, that is benefits based on an individual's own earnings (old-age insurance or disability benefits), displace family (auxiliary) benefits dollar-for-dollar. An individual may receive both old-age benefits and spouse benefits. The total amount will be the same as if he or she received only the larger spouse benefit. However, the total will be made up of the full old-age benefit amount plus a spouse benefit reduced by the amount of the old-age benefit. Similarly, surviving spouse benefits are auxiliary benefits and as such they are reduced by any primary benefits received by the same individual. A person who is entitled both to an old-age insurance (retirement) benefit and a surviving spouse benefit will receive only the former if it is greater than the auxiliary spouse benefit. If the spouse benefit is greater than the primary benefit, the individual will receive a full primary benefit and a reduced spouse benefit. The reduction will be calculated to bring the total of both benefits up to the unreduced spouse benefit amount. 42 U.S.C. § 402(k)(3); 20 C.F.R. § 404.407(a).

A person entitled to disability benefits and also old-age insurance, both primary benefits, will receive the larger of the two but can elect the smaller. 20 C.F.R. § 404.407(c).

Multiple Secondary Benefits[edit | edit source]

Entitlement to multiple family benefits produces more complicated calculations. The Act's basic principle here is that auxiliary benefits do not cumulate one upon another. Instead, in nearly all cases, the individual will receive the largest of the available family benefits (reduced by the amount of any primary benefit). A special provision deals with children entitled to benefits on more than one account. The basic rule in such cases is receipt of a benefit based on the largest primary insurance amount. If a child would receive a larger benefit from the insured with a smaller PIA, however, and basing his or her benefit on that account would not have an adverse affect on the benefits of others, the smaller PIA is used. 20 C.F.R. § 404.407(d).

Prior receipt of other auxiliary benefits will not affect the level of benefits the individual can receive as a surviving spouse. On the other hand, an individual cannot receive two auxiliary benefits at once (two surviving spouse benefits, for example). In such cases, the individual will receive only one: the higher auxiliary benefit.

Benefit Adjustments Due to the Account of Receipt of Other Government Benefits[edit | edit source]

Pension Based on Uncovered Work (Windfall Elimination)[edit | edit source]

The Windfall Elimination Provision ("WEP") modifies the standard formula for calculating an individual's primary insurance amount (PIA). This modification applies where a wage earner with earnings covered by the Social Security system also has "noncovered" earnings, typically from federal and state civil service employment. The provision applies only to individuals who first become "eligible" for a pension based on noncovered employment after 1985. 42 U.S.C. § 415(a)(7)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 404.213. * In AR, IA, MN, MO, NB, ND, and SD an acquiescence ruling (AR 12-1(8)) implements the Eighth Circuit's decision in Petersen v. Astrue, 633 F.3d 633 (8th Cir. 2011) holding that uniformed National Guard technicians are exempt from the Windfall Elimination Provision.


Spouse Benefit and Pension Based on Uncovered Work[edit | edit source]

The Act also provides for a reduction of spouse benefits and divorced spouse benefits when the individual receives a pension based on uncovered government work (for the federal government or a state or local government). If the pension is paid in a lump sum, that lump sum is converted into a monthly amount for purposes of this calculation. 42 U.S.C. § 402(k)(5); 20 C.F.R. § 404.408a.

Prior to 2004 the determination of whether or not the government work on which the pension is based was covered by Social Security was made as of the last day of the individual's work for the governmental organization. The Act was amended that year to require five years of uncovered work, with that stricter requirement being phased in.

Disability Benefits and Workers Compensation or Other Public Disability Benefit Payments[edit | edit source]

The Act provides for a reduction of disability benefits if the individual and his or her family would otherwise receive total disability and workers compensation payments or payments under another public disability benefit program above a threshold set in terms of the disabled individual's prior earnings. If that threshold, 80% of prior earnings, is exceeded the disability benefit is reduced by the amount of the excess. Workers compensation payments, whether lump sum or periodic, that are intended to cover medical or other expenses rather than to replace earnings are not covered by this provision. 42 U.S.C. § 424; 20 C.F.R. § 404.408. Social Security Ruling, SSR 94-6, makes clear that legal expenses incurred in obtaining workers compensation should be deducted from the award before applying the offset provision. Social Security Ruling, SSR 97-3, provides that when an initial workers compensation settlement is subsequently amended or supplanted by a second one the Agency is not necessarily bound by the terms of that second stipulation. Specifically, the Agency will disregard terms of the second that have the effect of altering the terms in the original settlement so as to circumvent the offset provisions of the Act.

The reduction does not apply if the workers compensation program itself contains a deduction for receipt of disability benefits (a "reverse offset") and that provision has been in effect since February 18, 1981. 42 U.S.C. § 424(d); 20 C.F.R. § 404.408(b)(2)(i).

In Richardson v. Belcher, 404 U.S. 78 (1971), the Supreme Court upheld enactment of a workers' compensation offset provision against an attack based on the 5th Amendment.

Railroad Retirement Act[edit | edit source]

Benefits paid under Social Security and the Railroad Retirement Act have been integrated. For short-term railroad workers integration is achieved by bringing work covered by the Railroad Retirement Act under Social Security. Long-term railroad workers are integrated under the Railroad Retirement Act. A period of 10 years of railroad work is the dividing line. A short-term railroad worker will have the railroad work counted toward insured status and benefit amount. A long-term railroad worker will have railroad work counted in determining entitlement to a period of disability. 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(i)405(o) ; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1401- 404.1413

Coordination of Social Security with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits[edit | edit source]

In addition to benefits established by Title II, the Act provides Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for individuals with low incomes who are 65 or over, blind, or disabled. Since Title II benefits are counted as income under SSI, only individuals with relatively low Title II benefits can qualify for SSI. Savings or other assets above the SSI cutoff will also prevent overlapping eligibility. For those who are not blind or disabled, SSI has an age threshold of 65, while Title II benefits can be claimed at an earlier age. Since Title II and SSI employ the same definition of disability, overlap is a distinct possibility in disability cases. The individual's other income or assets can block SSI, leaving Title II benefits as the sole possibility. On the other hand, a disabled claimant may be limited to SSI if he or she has insufficient covered work at the time of disability onset to qualify for Title II insured status. Where an individual qualifies for both, the SSI payment may be a relatively small supplement. The individual's Title II benefit is unaffected by SSI, but the SSI payment will be reduced by the amount of Social Security except for a monthly disregarded sum of $20.

Because of the potential overlap between Title II and SSI occasions will arise where one type of benefit is paid for a period and then, subsequently, entitlement for the same period is established in the other program. When either Social Security benefits or SSI are paid an individual for a period and then subsequently entitlement for the same period is established in the other program, the "windfall offset" provisions of the Act apply. The aim of this offset is to put the individual in the same situation as if both benefits had been paid simultaneously. Had the benefits been paid simultaneously the level of Title II payments would have reduced the SSI payment. Under the "windfall offset" if the Title II benefits have been paid first, the SSI retroactive payment is calculated as if the Title II benefits had been paid, when due, through the period for which the SSI benefits are being paid. If the SSI benefits have been paid first, the retroactive Title II payment is reduced by the amount that the SSI benefits would have been less had the Title II benefits been paid when due. 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-6; 20 C.F.R. § 404.408b* In DE, NJ, PA, and VI an acquiescence ruling (AR 92-1) implements the Third Circuit's decision in Mazza v. Secretary, 903 F.2d 953 (3d Cir. 1990), which interpreted the offset provision as requiring that SSI payment be determined first in retroactive concurrent payment cases with the Title II benefits determined second, subject to the offset. The Agency's view is that Act allows application of the offset to whichever benefit is paid second. Because of the linkage between SSI eligibility and Medicaid this view can have serious adverse consequences for the claimant, as the facts in Mazza illustrate.


Recovering Past Overpayments and Other Offsets[edit | edit source]

When an individual has received a larger sum of benefits than provided for by the Social Security Act, the law calls for recovery of the overpayment. 42 U.S.C. § 404; 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.501 - 404.545. Overpayments can result from a failure to impose an appropriate benefit reduction or suspension. They can also result from a failure to terminate benefits when that is called for and from paying benefits to someone who it turns out was not entitled to receive them from the start. In Sullivan v. Everhart, 494 U.S. 83 (1990), the Supreme Court upheld the Agency's regulations providing for the netting of overpayments against underpayments. Under these regulations the waiver of overpayment procedure applies only to the resulting balance.

Where the overpaid individual did not cause the overpayment by an intentionally false statement and benefits are necessary to cover the individual's basic living expenses, the Agency can spread out the overpayment recovery by taking a portion of every monthly payment for the necessary period. Recovery of overpayments can be waived by the Agency altogether when the individual was not at fault in causing them and when recovery would defeat the "purpose of the Act" or be "against equity and good conscience." 42 U.S.C. § 404(b); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.501 - 404.510a. The issue is not whether the Agency was also at fault but whether the overpaid individual was without fault considering all the surrounding circumstances. Fault can lie in making an incorrect statement, in failing to furnish information, or even in accepting a payment that the individual should have known was incorrect. Even a claimant who was not at fault in causing an overpayment will be subject to recovery unless that would defeat the purpose of the Act or be "against equity and good conscience." Recovery is considered as defeating the purpose of the Act if the individual is dependent on Social Security benefits for basic needs. Recovery is considered to be against equity and good conscience in cases where the individual has changed position in reliance on the payments or received no benefit from the overpayment.

The procedural protections that must be afforded an individual prior to recoupment are set out in regulations. 20 C.F.R. § 404.506.

In recovering overpayments from someone who is no longer a beneficiary the Agency has quite broad debt collection authority. 42 U.S.C. § 404(f). Since 1990 the Agency has been authorized to recover overpayments from federal tax refunds due the individual when he or she is no longer entitled to benefits from which overpayments might be recouped. Provisions added to the Act in 2004 expanded the authority of the Agency to recover overpayments made in one program from amounts due in another. They limit such recoupment by reduction in ongoing monthly payments to 10 percent of benefits in the case of Title II (OASDI), the lesser of: (1) the amount of the benefit for that month; or (2) an amount equal to 10 percent of the countable income for that month in the case of Title XVI (SSI).

If the overpaid individual dies before full recovery, the individual's estate and any resulting Social Security survivors benefits are subject to recovery. 42 U.S.C. § 404(a)(1)(A)

When an individual who has been underpaid dies before full payment of the amount due, the Act lays out a pattern of disposing of the remaining sum rather than having it go automatically to the individual's estate. 42 U.S.C. § 404(d).

The Annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)[edit | edit source]

Each December monthly benefits are adjusted to take account of rises in the cost of living. Unless the Social Security Trust Fund reserves are below a specified level, this adjustment is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index over the prior measurement year. If reserves are low, the increase is based on the percentage increase in wage levels over the measurement year if that is lower.42 U.S.C. § 415(i); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.270 - 404.278.

Pursuant to this adjustment, the benefit increase that took effect in December 2017 is 2.0%. That scheduled for December 2018 is 2.8%.

Suspension of Benefits to Prisoners and Non-Resident Aliens[edit | edit source]

Benefits otherwise payable are suspended if the eligible individual has been convicted of a criminal offense and sent to jail or prison for more than 30 days. Benefits are reinstated upon proof of release. Certain forms of non-prison institutional commit and flight to avoid arrest have similar consequences. 42 U.S.C. § 402(x).

While U.S. citizens can reside outside the country and continue to receive benefits, benefits to aliens are suspended after they have been outside the U.S. for six months. 42 U.S.C. § 402(t).

Supporting and Elaborating References[edit | edit source]

Social Security Act:[edit | edit source]

Regulations:[edit | edit source]

Social Security Rulings:[edit | edit source]

Through 2007[edit | edit source]

Since 2007[edit | edit source]

  • None

Acquiescence Rulings:[edit | edit source]

POMS:[edit | edit source]

Agency Guidance:[edit | edit source]

Selected Cases:[edit | edit source]

Excess Earnings[edit | edit source]

Windfall Elimination Provision[edit | edit source]

Recoupment of Overpayment[edit | edit source]

SSI Windfall Offset[edit | edit source]

Coorindation with Railroad Retirement Benefits[edit | edit source]

Articles and Notes:[edit | edit source]

  • Peter W. Martin, The Art of Decoupling: Keeping Social Security's Promise Up-To-Date, 65 Cornell L. Rev. 748 (1980)
  • Recoupment of Excess payments of Federal Old-Age, Survivors', and Disability Insurance Benefits as Barred by § 204(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 404(b)), 70 A.L.R. Fed. 427
  • Prentiss Cox, Note, Social Security Netting Regulations: Balancing Administrative Convenience With the Rights of Beneficiaries, 73 Minn. L. Rev. 1143 (1989)
  • Denial of Social Security Retirement Benefits to Member of Family Business on Ground That Retirement Was Sham Designed to Qualify for Benefits, 102 A.L.R. Fed. 25
  • Francine Lipman & Alan Smith, The Social Security Benefits Formula and the Windfall Elimination Provision: An Equitable Approach to Addressing 'Windfall' Benefits. 39 J. Legis. 181 (2012-13)
  • Kevin Whitman, An Overview of the Railroad Retirement Program, 68 Social Security Bull. 41 (2008)
  • Peter W. Martin, Public Assurance of an Adequate Minimum Income in Old Age: The Erratic Partnership Between Social Insurance and Public Assistance, 64 Cornell L. Rev. 437 (1979)