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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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@dm6633885 wrote:
Spoiler
I've returned to this topic, because my wife is on the eve of FRA.  I started the thread by saying I want to continue working for two years.  If I understood what you said correctly, you suggested she could start collecting an amount equal to half off my benefit at FRA, even though I haven't declared my retirement yet.  But, the link you provided says this:

Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. You can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.

But, I am not receiving retirement benefits.  I guess I'm confused; can you clarify?

Sorry for the confusion - 

To claim a spousal benefit based on the current spouse's earnings record, this current spouse must have filed for their own benefits already.

 

There used to be a strategy for married couples called "file and suspend" where one spouse would file but immediately suspend their benefits which allowed the other spouse to file for spousal benefits. However this strategy is no longer available. Due to new Social Security laws that were passed in November 2015 anyone who suspends benefits after April 30th, 2016, will end up suspending all benefits based on their record - which means a spouse cannot collect spousal benefits during a time where their spouse has "suspended" benefits.

 

Bottom line: The benefit-based spouse must file for benefits for the other spouse to be eligible for a spousal benefit on the benefit-based spouse record.

 

So The only way for her to file for a spousal benefit on your record, assuming that you have been married to each other for at least 10 years, is for you to have filed for your own benefits.

 

Your filing for benefits does not preclude you from continuing to work and continue to pay into the system and at such time when you stop working, your benefit would be adjusted (recalculated) upward for those last working years.

 

Each year SS reviews the records for all Social Security recipients who work. If your latest year of earnings turns out to be one of your highest years, they refiguring automatically your benefit and pay you any increase due. 

 

See my 1st response to your query (  01-04-2018 02:10 PM ) where I stated this:

 

Now for you -
NO, you cannot file as a spouse, but it is because you are already at FRA - they will deem this to be YOU filing for a benefit and will compare which is greater, your benefit or a spousal benefit, and give you the greater - which you already know is yours.

Social Security - Retirement Planner: Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits FAQs

FAQ #1 fits your situation
What are the new rules for deemed filing resulting from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015?
Deemed filing means that when you file for either your retirement or your spouse’s benefit, you are required or “deemed” to file for the other benefit as well. Deemed filing rules already apply when you file for either your retirement or your spouse’s benefit and you are before full retirement age.
> > > > The Bipartisan Budget Act extends deemed filing rules to apply at full retirement age (FRA) and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 2 of 8
Spoiler
I've returned to this topic, because my wife is on the eve of FRA.  I started the thread by saying I want to continue working for two years.  If I understood what you said correctly, you suggested she could start collecting an amount equal to half off my benefit at FRA, even though I haven't declared my retirement yet.  But, the link you provided says this:

Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. You can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.

But, I am not receiving retirement benefits.  I guess I'm confused; can you clarify?
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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 3 of 8

Now ya got it  - but she has to file for BOTH at the time she applies at FRA:

 

Social Security Questions Asked and Answered FAQ: What is the eligibility for Social Security spouse...

 

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to one-half the amount your spouse is entitled to receive at their full retirement age. If you choose to begin receiving spouse’s benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefit amount will be permanently reduced.
 
You will receive your full spouse’s benefit amount if you wait until you reach full retirement age to begin receiving benefits. You will also receive the full amount if you are caring for a child entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record who is younger than age 16 or disabled.

Make Sure she knows to file for BOTH >>>>>>> If you do have enough credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefits and you apply for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 4 of 8

Excellent news!  So, at FRA she can collect half my benefit, even though I myself am not yet collecting it.  Wonderful!  Thanks...

 

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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 5 of 8

@dm6633885 wrote:

Thank you, you've answered the question about me claiming benefits.

 

But, what about my wife?  If I don't file for benefits until 2020 (because I plan to work two more years and let my benefit grow), what are her options?  Can she claim her own benefit in September at FRA, and switch to restricted application (RA) when I start drawing benefits in 2020 - or should she only file when I do?

 

The answer to that question may determine if I forego additional accumulation, even though I intend to continue working, and file for benefits when she reaches FRA, so she can then claim RA.


You make plans for you - she will be taken care of  by the system - when she files at her FRA, SS will give her whichever benefit is higher for her - spousal or her own..

 

IF she is gonna be FRA when she files for benefits and she was born before 01/02/1954 - they will check at that time as to which type of benefit is higher - spousal or her own - she will get the higher at her FRA.   You said this would be her spousal benefit - so 1/2 of yours (spousal) than 100% of her own at FRA will be the measure of which benefit she will get.

 

I then said, for her - when she hits 70 she should just review her spousal benefit against the growth in her own benefit ( benefits don't grow past 70 years old) to make sure that the spousal is still the higher at that time.  I came back to add, this may not be an option for her - it may just be widows - widows benefit vs their own benefit.

 

However your wife will receive the LARGER of the benefits when she files at her FRA - spousal or her own - regardless of whether or not you are retired but over FRA.

 

If she is still receiving spousal benefits when you file for your benefits, I believe her spousal benefit will increase maybe a little because you have kept working past when she filed for benefits at her FRA .  When you file for your benefits, make sure her benefit, if she is still receiving spousal, is 1/2 of your benefit.

 

At Full Retirement Age and beyond - people will get the benefit that is most beneficial for them.

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 6 of 8

Thank you, you've answered the question about me claiming benefits.

 

But, what about my wife?  If I don't file for benefits until 2020 (because I plan to work two more years and let my benefit grow), what are her options?  Can she claim her own benefit in September at FRA, and switch to restricted application (RA) when I start drawing benefits in 2020 - or should she only file when I do?

 

The answer to that question may determine if I forego additional accumulation, even though I intend to continue working, and file for benefits when she reaches FRA, so she can then claim RA.

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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 7 of 8

This is the SS page which I think will answer your questions.

Social Security - Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse

 

For your wife - this part specifically:

 

Note: If you were born before January 2, 1954 and have already reached full retirement age, you can choose to receive only the spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date.
 
If your birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists.  If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.
 
So for her, when she files for her benefit at her FRA, since she was born before 01/02/1954, they should check to see which of the benefits give her the best advantage - you said this would be her spousal benefit - 1/2 of yours.
 
If that is the way she will do it - take the spousal benefit at her FRA - she should check at age 70 to see if that benefit is still greater than her own at that time.
 
Now for you -
NO, you cannot file as a spouse,  but it is because you are already at FRA - they will deem this to be YOU filing for a benefit and will compare which is greater, your benefit or a spousal benefit, and give you the greater - which you already know is yours.
 
 
FAQ #1 fits your situation

What are the new rules for deemed filing resulting from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015?

Deemed filing means that when you file for either your retirement or your spouse’s benefit, you are required or “deemed” to file for the other benefit as well. Deemed filing rules already apply when you file for either your retirement or your spouse’s benefit and you are before full retirement age.

> > > > The Bipartisan Budget Act extends deemed filing rules to apply at full retirement age (FRA) and beyond.

 
 
* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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A question about the Social Security "Restricted Application" for spousal benefits

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Message 8 of 8

I am at full retirement age (FRA), but still working - I plan to work an additional two years, without filing for my social security benefit so it continues to grow.  My wife will reach FRA in September (we were born in '51 and '52 respectively).  Her benefits will be smaller than mine.

 

Can she file for her own benefits at her FRA in September, and then file a restricted application (RA) against my benefit when I start collecting it in two years?  Or, if she starts by collecting her own benefit, does it preclude her from switching to the RA method?

 

Furthermore - if she can file for her own benefit, and then switch to an RA against mine - can I in the meantime file a RA against her benefit, until such time as I file for my own benefit?

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