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Suspend SS benefits then re-apply for benefits after FRA

In 2017, I collected SS benefits for 8 months beginning at the age of 63.5, then suspended my benefits since I returned to work. (I did not withdraw the benefits, i.e. did not return the money received to SSA).

Now that I am 67 years old, well past my FRA (at 66), I recently re-applied for SS benefits.

 

Back in 2017, SSA told me that if I wait until past FRA to re-apply for benefits, my revised benefits will include credits for:

1. the unused months between the suspension date and FRA

2. the delayed retirement credits accumulated between FRA and the date I re-apply for benefits.

 

Can anyone advise if he or she is in my situation, and has got the credits for both the unused and delayed benefits mentioned above

 

 

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Bronze Conversationalist

@tdhosi I think Gail1's question regarding returning to work is important. A few weeks ago on another thread, I posted a reply to a similar situation by including a link to SSA Publication 05-1009, How Work Affects Your Benefits https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10069.pdf . Pages 6 and 7 address the question, "Will you receive higher monthly benefits later if benefits are withheld because of work?" Is it possible that your SS benefits were "withheld" or "reduced to zero" because of your earnings? If so, the Publication indicates that the SSA will recalculate your SS benefit at your Full Retirement Age (FRA). I did not see any language in the Publication that addresses Delayed Retirement Credits (DRC).So, I suggest that you follow Gail1's advice and schedule an appointment with your local SS office.

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Honored Social Butterfly

One additional question - did you go back to work after you stopped your benefits?

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

I have consulted with the Pros - you do have a problem- do not file a new application for benefits until the matter is reconciled with SSA - you need an appointment with them. 

I will try to explain this in layman's terms to the best of my ability.

 

  • Because you did not repay the (8) months of benefits you actually did not complete the "Withdrawal" process. 
  • Therefore, SSA has given you a "waiver" instead. 
  • Your old application for retirement benefits - the one you filed when you were 63.5 years old is still active - the benefits have only been waived.  That old application is not cancelled until the (8) months of benefits are repaid. 
  • If you file another application now, it will be seen not as a new application but as a duplicate of the one you previous had.  If they act on it, you may get the old benefit - 

You need to get an appointment with your local office - DO NOT JUST GO - take all the documentation that you have and talk with a Representative and get this fixed and then they can take your new application for retirement.

Yes, there will be some reductions in your benefit because of not repaying the (8) months of benefits that you got before and these will also affect your delayed retirement credit computation too.  

But get it corrected so that your benefit is gonna be correct now that you are going to take it now.

 

The Pros seem to think that either you got bad info or you interpreted incorrectly based on what you posted they said or told you.

Here is the SSA Operation manual which describes what I have said here if you want to read it.

SSA.gov Program Operations Manual System (POMS) - GN 02409.001 Waiver of Benefit

 

SSA.gov Program Operations Manual System (POMS) - GN 00204.028 Duplicate Applications

 

SSA.gov POMS GN 00206.014 Processing a Withdrawal Request made after Adjudication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Bronze Conversationalist

@GailL1 Very good analysis. I learned quite a bit from your post about waiving and withdrawing one's SS benefits. I guess some folks may not need SS benefits and elect to leave the monies in the SS program for other beneficiaries. The other approach is to receive the SS benefits and donate the equivalent or more money to the charity, church, or another organization if your choice.  If I read the Operation Manuals correctly, the SSA should have restarted SS benefits after their attempts to collect prior SS benefits were exhausted ( for withdrawal option).

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Tonster521 wrote 

If I read the Operation Manuals correctly, the SSA should have restarted SS benefits after their attempts to collect prior SS benefits were exhausted ( for withdrawal option).

=================

The SSA has had a disruption with the pandemic for the last couple of years so I would imagine that some stuff just didn't get done with remote working.

 

I had to reach out to the pros for this one - a bunch of them hang out over at 

Reddit.com Social Security

come on over - you're invited but it might blow your mind.  You might be interested in a world of other boards over there too - finance, retirement, investing - you name it, they got it.

Once you determine who the pros are they are able to quote rhyme and verse with the POMS.    They also know about SSI (and SSDI) too - those get more questions than SS Retirement cause it is mostly eligibility.

 

One thing this should all teach us - know what you are doing with the government cause they have some pretty strict rules.  So Don't WITHDRAW your benefits in that 12 month window unless you can repay them.

There is a big difference in words when it comes to the government -

SUSPEND, WITHDRAW and WAIVE - all have very different meaning.

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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@GailL1 Thanks for the invite. I will visit Reddit. It sounds interesting, Hopefully, I can add some value or, at least, learn something new. I agree that we need to understand the exact meaning of the words SS use. 

Honored Social Butterfly

It would have worked that way IF you had REPAID the (8) months of benefits that you received.  Not paying them back throws off the whole process (and calculations)

1.  You did not SUSPEND - you have to be FRA or less than 70 in order to do a SUSPEND

2.  You did a WITHDRAWAL - allowed for 12 months after a beneficiary receives early retirement benefits - a withdrawal has to have SSA approval AND a repayment of all the benefits.

3.  Since you did not repay the benefits - there will be an adjustment for this (8) months of benefits in your new retirement amount - this adjustment for these (8) months of benefits will also extend to the delayed retirement credit.

 

How else could it be any other way.  BTW - is your benefit correct on your social security account?  This situation may have thrown it off.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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