request help appealing IRMAA

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SpideyIndexer
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request help appealing IRMAA

Post by SpideyIndexer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:12 am

The SSA rejected my request for a new initial determination by mail (an SSA-44) by mail but it is unclear why, so I will be visiting the office in person tomorrow. My 2017 MAGI is reduced one tier due to both that certain events in 2016 were one-time and did not reoccur in future years and that self employment hours were reduced in 2017 which is a life-change event. Questions:

1. Does the SSA only consider the difference in MAGI between two years in considering the appeal when a life-change event occurs? Or do the try to exclude other one-time event that are NOT life-changing events that would help make one's case (e.g. stock sales or winning the lottery 2 years ago but not 1 year ago)?

2. Will I need some documentation of reduced hours such as a signed statement?

3. I will be amending my 2016 return and will have a significant drop in MAGI for that year, though not enough to drop it by a tier. I will bring a statement to that effect; I know the exact amount. Maybe it will help make my case for 2017....though I don't see how since the 2017 return will not be affected.

4. Previously I had expected my 2018 income to drop down by another tier and so filled out the SSA-44 accordingly. Since, I realized gains which invalidated that. Should I fill out and bring a new SSA-44 without the 2018 projection? As projections can always change, I wouldn't expect that to be used against me.

Apologies if this is a duplicate post; I thought I had submitted it but the first post seems to have vanished.

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celia
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by celia » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:25 am

I don't know much about appealing IRMAA decisions, but found this page: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0601120005. I don't know if these apply to you but noted that it says:
2. Ordinarily, we do not make a determination retroactive to a prior premium year on a new initial determination, unless the LCE causing the reduction occurs in the last three calendar months of the immediately prior premium year and we receive the request for a new initial determination for the preceding premium year by March 31, of the current premium year.
In addition, see the examples of Life Changing Events and Non-qualifying Life Changing Effects later in the page.

cadreamer2015
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by cadreamer2015 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:29 am

I have successfully applied for elimination of IRMAA premium using form SSA-44, but can't claim to be an expert. I think you may have confused things a bit if you have included anything in your application other than a qualifying life-changing event. One time events such as sale of assets (capital gains), lottery winnings, etc. do not qualify as a life-changing event and should not be included in your application on form SSA-44. Like you, I am self employed and have had a reduction in hours. In my case I only needed a signed affidavit that my hours have been reduced "significantly," and I could include our 2017 filed Federal Income Tax MAGI number which was below $170,000.

I would go in with both a signed affidavit stating your reduced work hours and a copy of your 2017 tax return. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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The Wizard
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by The Wizard » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:16 am

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:29 am
I have successfully applied for elimination of IRMAA premium using form SSA-44, but can't claim to be an expert. I think you may have confused things a bit if you have included anything in your application other than a qualifying life-changing event. One time events such as sale of assets (capital gains), lottery winnings, etc. do not qualify as a life-changing event and should not be included in your application on form SSA-44...
Similarly here. I had significant part-time work in 2016 which put my MAGI up into the next IRMAA tier. But I had zero part-time work in 2017 which dropped me back into a lower tier.
So I submitted SSA-44 on this life changing event and it was approved.

As mentioned, you need to pick one of the seven life changing events that applies to your situation and provide good evidence.
Changes in MAGI due to other inapplicable reasons are just noise and could likely get your application rejected...
Attempted new signature...

cadreamer2015
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by cadreamer2015 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:44 am

Another thing I just discovered is that if you have a SSA-44 approved for an adjusted or eliminated IRMAA premium it doesn't automatically apply to your spouse. Your spouse has to submit a separate SSA-44 form.
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SpideyIndexer
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by SpideyIndexer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:46 am

Thanks. Just to clarify, my form SSA-44 only mentions the reduction in hours as a LCE which reduces my MAGI. But it also asks for prior year actual MAGI and projected current year MAGI. The other events happened to occur and may be to my benefit

In fact, when I discussed things on the phone with an SSA rep several months ago, she said SSA-44 would make the SSA consider either the next year (2017) or two years later (2018) MAGI rather than 2 years prior (2016) when calculating my IRMAA. But that's not what happened yet.

SpideyIndexer
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Re: request help appealing IRMAA

Post by SpideyIndexer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:09 pm

The SSA agent was not very knowledgeable about the how IRMAA appeals with LCE's work. I ended up filling out the form for a hearing and left it at the office. We'll see, though i have a feeling it will be denied.

In hindsight it would have been better to have had a meeting in person rather than mail in the SSA-44 as i think that would allowed for more back and forth discussion. But it may depend on the luck of the draw. The agent I spoke with on the phone previously (at the same office) was much more informed than the one I met with in person today.

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