Our Senior Citizens Are Not Alone!

Senior Law ProgramHermila Hernandez a senior  monolingual Spanish-speaking resident of San Francisco came to our Senior Law Clinic in August last year, asking for legal help in order to start receiving SSA retirement benefits as she was 71 years of age. Before coming to our office, she was told by the SSA that she only had 28 credits and needed 40 to receive full retirement benefits. Each full year of work provides 4 credits, so she needed 3 more years of work to complete the 40 credits. After a complete investigation of her personal files conducted by us, we found out that the information managed by the SSA was at least incomplete if not wrong. We were able to retrieve several tax declarations filed in the late 90’s and early 00’s proving that she has worked for more than 10 years in the country and has indeed the number of credits needed to retire last year. We filed a request to recalculate the benefits based on the new information we found and attached the new tax declarations. On September 5, 2012 the administration informed us that the tax declarations were accepted and that she can retire by December 2102. She got the first retirement benefit payment on January 3, 2013. She was so happy because she does not have to work 3 more years to complete the credits required by SSA.