Martin v. Social Security Administration, No. 17-12408 (11th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The SSA determined that because plaintiff was also receiving civil service disability retirement payments, his Social Security benefits should be reduced under the windfall elimination provision. At issue was the boundaries of "payment based wholly on service as a member of a uniformed service" for the purpose of social security benefit calculations.
The Eleventh Circuit, accounting for the unique nature of the dual status technician position and applying Skidmore deference, held that plaintiff did not perform his dual status technician employment wholly as a member of a uniformed service. Consequently, payments based on that employment did not qualify for the exception. The court did not think the requirements of the dual status technician position were sufficient to place dual status technicians within the sweep of the exception—especially given the provision's use of the word "wholly." Therefore, the uniformed services exception did not apply in plaintiff's case.