Two friends had both told me of their struggles with getting Social Security. Both were unable to file online. One thought she had done so but it was not successful. She was glad in the long run because she ended up getting half of her husband's which was more. The other friend got half of her ex-husband's benefits.
I took some pride in filing on my own behalf. I did check to see what it would be on Jim's account, but it was less than what I will get on my own. I have worked many years and paid FICA taxes even when I was self-employed and had to pay the full amount.
Filing online was pretty straight forward. It took me about 15-20 minutes on Saturday afternoon with some questions about just exactly when I started work for the school corporation here. I was amused by the six or so lines available for former names. I did say that I had worked in another country but that no pension was due to me from that--because of my year as an "assistant music mistress" in St. Andrews, Scotland.
I decided to hand in my W2 copy at the office on Tuesday instead of mailing it in. The parking lot was full at our local office. The room was packed. The aroma brought back memories of working at the Hope Rescue Mission--the smell of bodies and stale wine. I asked if I could just hand my envelope to someone and was pointed to a slot by the door. I left quickly and gratefully.
The very next day I received a phone call from Karen in Philadelphia to confirm my information and to ask a few questions. She was very helpful and guided me to choose retroactive payment for six months instead of $58 dollars a month more for the years ahead. She said I should get a check for about $9000 as a direct deposit soon. Amazing if it all works out!