Red Tape

I’m trying to negotiate the bureaucratic maze for Social Security & Medicare. My next birthday is the big six-five. Two of the things SS requires are certified copies of both my birth certificate and our marriage license. I can’t figure out why. I had to show the birth certificate to sign up for SS (I think I did, anyway; that was a long time ago). And, didn’t I have to show my marriage license to change my name for SS, which I did in 1966? So, why are they necessary now? Furthermore, a certified copy of our marriage license is going to cost $71. That’s just outrageous. My birth certificates cost about that much as well, since I had to send to another state for them. Fortunately, I still have those, and don’t have to order and pay for them again.

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8 comments on “Red Tape

  1. Miko says:

    Ugh, I feel your pain. I have to send all the way to NZ for stuff like that, and it ain’t cheap, quick, or easy. After the quake, in which I lost virtually every form of ID, passport, all my credit cards, etc, it took several months to convince the authorities that I was who I said I was. Nearly lost my mind in the process.

  2. Karen says:

    OMG, where would have had to send off for that last lost item?

  3. Petra says:

    I am dreading the moment when I have to go through all this stuff – on TWO continents…

  4. Miko says:

    Petra does that mean that you are entitled to two pensions?

  5. Karen says:

    No, Medicare is the old age medical insurance. Social Security is a pitiful pension.

  6. Karen says:

    Oh, I just noticed you addressed that to Petra. I have no idea if she gets pensions in two countries. I definitely don’t.

  7. Miko says:

    Elderly folk in Japan are no longer entitled to free medical care (I guess the sheer numbers of them make it unfeasible), but it’s still pretty cheap. As for pension, I get no pension at all! I’ll be working till the end, not that I really mind.

  8. Petra says:

    Yes, I will be entitled to pensions from both Germany and the US once I retire. After all, I am paying into the system here until then and have payed into it for decades in Germany and the US and Germany have a tax treaty when it comes to matters like this.

    Of course what I get from Germany will not be much (there was a divorce with cost me half of everything I was entitled to :-(), but still – something will be coming in. Which then means that I probably will be taxed on that under the “windfall tax” provision here in the US. This latter provision is a nasty little tax rule which runs basically along the lines of: If you get any pension from a system outside of the US, we tax the hell out of you. That will teach you!

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