When Can I File For Social Security Spousal Benefits?

Written by on November 22, 2020


Right this moment’s column addresses questions on when it is potential to file for spousal advantages, who can nonetheless file restricted functions for spousal advantages solely, divorced spousal advantages after early retirement advantages and eligibility for incapacity advantages near full retirement age. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston College and the founder and president of Financial Safety Planning, Inc, which markets Maximize My Social Safety and MaxiFi Planner.

See extra Ask Larry solutions right here.

Have Social Safety questions of your personal you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Safety right here.


When Can I File For Social Safety Spousal Advantages?

Hello Larry, first thanks on your time! I’ve learn many issues about Social Safety advantages however I am nonetheless confused. I’m married and my husband filed for Social Safety retirement profit after he was 62. He is 65 now and I am 60 now. When can I file for spousal advantages? I don’t need to file for my retirement advantages till I’m 67 to get full advantages. Our earnings are fairly comparable so I am undecided how a lot my spousal advantages can be if I can get them. And I am undecided the way you requested spousal advantages after which swap to your advantages later. All of it appears so complicated! Please assist! I do not need to file incorrectly. Thanks, Laura

Hello Laura, You might apply for spousal advantages as early as 62, however you possibly can’t file for spousal advantages with out additionally being required to file on your personal advantages on the similar time. Additionally, your partner must be drawing his advantages so as so that you can doubtlessly qualify for spousal advantages. Solely folks born previous to half/1954 can file only for spousal advantages with out additionally submitting for their very own retirement advantages concurrently, and even they could not accomplish that in the event that they claimed the spousal advantages previous to full retirement age (FRA).

So while you file for both profit, you will be deemed to be submitting for each your personal retirement advantages and your spousal advantages. In case your husband is receiving his retirement advantages at the moment, you will then obtain primarily the upper of your personal fee or your spousal fee and your fee shall be lowered for age if you happen to begin drawing previous to FRA. In case your husband is not but drawing his retirement advantages while you file on your advantages, you can doubtlessly declare spousal advantages when he does file, however you’d solely qualify for spousal advantages if 50% of his main insurance coverage quantity (PIA) is greater than your personal PIA. An individual’s PIA is the same as their Social Safety retirement profit fee if they begin drawing their advantages at full retirement age (FRA).

You might need to think about using my firm’s software program — Maximize My Social Safety or MaxiFi Planner — to completely analyze the choices out there to you to be able to decide your greatest technique for maximizing advantages. Social Safety calculators offered by different firms or non-profits might present correct options in the event that they had been constructed with excessive care. Greatest, Larry


Am I Eligible To Declare Spousal Advantages Whereas I Wait To Declare My Retirement Advantages?

Hello Larry, My spouse shall be at her FRA (66) in December 2020. She plans to start out her Social Safety retirement profit then. It is estimated to be about $1,750. I am a bit youthful and my FRA is 66 and 5 months in Aug 2023. Via our married life, I used to be the upper earnings supplier. My profit at FRA is estimated at about $3,100. Am I eligible to say spousal advantages from my spouse’s document whereas I wait to say my full retirement profit in 2023? In that case, how a lot would the spousal profit be? Thanks, Marc

Hello Marc, Solely folks born previous to half/1954 are allowed to file for spousal advantages whereas their partner resides with out additionally being required to file for their very own retirement advantages on the similar time. So neither of you’re eligible to file a restricted software on your spousal advantages solely. This was part of the regulation handed in late 2015 and absolutely applied in early 2016. Earlier than this regulation handed, your proposed technique together with your spouse submitting for retirement advantages at her FRA adopted by you submitting for spousal advantages at your FRA and at last you submitting on your retirement profit at 70 would seemingly have been the best way to get probably the most advantages. However that’s not potential because of the new regulation. Greatest, Larry


Is My Ex-Spouse Entitled To 50% Of My Full Retirement Age Profit Even If She Began Amassing Hers At 62?

Hello Larry, We had been married for about 20 years after we divorced. We’re nonetheless good associates and I feel Social Safety is making the most of her. She retired when she was 62. I am 63 now, and once I turned 62, she reapplied to get my a divorced spousal profit based mostly on my document. My earnings is considerably higher than hers. My understanding is that despite the fact that we’re divorced, as a result of we had been married greater than 10 years, she can be entitled to 50% of what my Social Safety retirement profit can be at my full retirement age. They mentioned that as a result of she retired at 62, she solely will get the lowered fee. I already suppose they beforehand took benefit of her after they denied her incapacity, and I am unable to assist pondering that they’re doing it once more. At greatest, it feels to me like they’re both flawed or confused.

Is she entitled to a spousal profit at 50% of my retirement profit at FRA no matter the truth that she began accumulating her retirement profit at 62? Thanks, Invoice

Hello Invoice, She’s not. If an individual information for his or her Social Safety retirement advantages at 62 or any time earlier than their full retirement age (FRA), the ensuing discount for age utilized to their profit fee continues to use even when they later apply for spousal or divorced spousal advantages. They usually might solely qualify for added spousal or divorced spousal advantages if their very own main insurance coverage quantity (PIA) is lower than their partner’s or divorced partner’s PIA. An individual’s PIA is the same as their Social Safety retirement profit fee if they begin drawing their advantages at full retirement age (FRA).

For instance, say Jan filed for her advantages final yr at 62. Jan’s full retirement age fee, or main insurance coverage quantity (PIA) is $1,000, however her fee is lowered for age to $729. Jan’s residing ex-spouse’s PIA is $2,000, and if Jan filed for divorced spousal advantages, her unreduced extra spousal profit can be calculated by subtracting her PIA from 50% of her husband’s PIA, which in Jan’s case is $0 (i.e. $2,000 / 2 – $1,000). Subsequently, Jan will solely be paid her personal lowered profit fee of $729. Greatest, Larry


Can My Husband Nonetheless Apply For Incapacity Advantages At Age 65?

Hello Larry, I used to be born in December 1951 and my present husband was born in August 1955. I retired in 2017 and began Social Safety widow’s advantages on my deceased ex-husbands document. My present husband who’s working turned completely legally blind in 2017. At the moment, we filed for Social Safety Incapacity for him however later withdrew the appliance as my husband wished to proceed working. His work purchased particular tools for him. As time has gone on, he has been given much less and fewer work to do and has determined to retire in January 2021. He shall be 65 at the moment. Is he nonetheless capable of apply based mostly on his incapacity? Thanks, Ashley

Hello Ashley, Sure. If an individual can doubtlessly qualify for Social Safety incapacity (SSDI) advantages previous to reaching full retirement age (FRA), they’re allowed to use for SSDI. Drawing SSDI is mainly the identical as drawing your full retirement age Social Safety retirement profit early, so there isn’t any purpose to file for SSDI if you happen to’re preliminary date of entitlement can be at FRA or later.

Social Safety has particular guidelines for figuring out SSDI eligibility when an individual is decided to be statutorily blind by Social Safety’s definition. Statutorily blind people are allowed to earn greater than non-blind people and nonetheless doubtlessly be eligible for SSDI. Additionally, out of pocket bills for impairment associated tools wanted to carry out a job can typically be deducted when deciding if an individual is incomes an excessive amount of to qualify for SSDI. SSDI advantages may even doubtlessly be paid for as much as 12 months previous to the month of software if the individual might have certified for advantages previous to submitting for them. Greatest, Larry




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