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Switching to spousal benefit

My sister-in-law started taking her SS benefit at her FRA. My bother who is a year older than her, waited a couple of years after his FRA and then started taking his increased benefit. Her benefit amount based on her earnings record is less than half of his. I told them that she should have switched to the increased amount when he filed to start receiving his benefit. Is it too late to make that change?

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Bronze Conversationalist

@BruceA602675 Generally, the SSA asks, at the time of application, if you are married. If so, you provide the SSA with your spouse's info. Perhaps this was already done and the SSA determined that your SIL's SS FRA Benefit (based on her Earnings) was greater than the Spousal Benefit based on your brother's SS Benefit at FRA. As Gail pointed out, Spousal Benefits are not eligible for Delayed Retirement Credits. In any event, it is worthwhile to contact the SSA for clarification of your SIL's SS Benefit.

Honored Social Butterfly

She can still do it and will qualify as long as the spousal benefit is larger than her own (work) benefit.  However, the spousal benefit will NOT include the delayed retirement credit amount which her husband got for waiting pass his FRA to file.  The spousal benefit is only based on the FRA amount for the primary account holder.

 

SSA.gov Filing for Spousal Benefits 

 

If this proves difficult for her to do online - just make an appointment with the local SS office and take the info they need.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Thank you!

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