filing restricted application for spousal benefits - are rules perfectly clear?

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Re: filing restricted application for spousal benefits - are rules perfectly clear?

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@CharlesU659303 wrote:

Gail seems spot but consider the use of "file and suspend".  If she files for her spousal benefits and suspends her own, I believe that might help.  Remember that the key word is suspend.  Perhaps the younger workers in the S.A. just need to hear it per their training.  So in a nutshell consider employing the words "file and suspend", and repeatedly if necessary to cover your bases.  Good luck and I hope that you are not being WEP'd or GPO'd.  If so, consider my other posts regarding the SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS ACT of 2019.  Check to see if your representative is a cosponsor at www.congress.gov , and type in H.R. 141, look below and click on cosponsors and then your state on the left side.  If not a cosponsor and you are penalized for those, give your rep's office a call and ask him or her to please cosponsor it.  Good luck. 


@CharlesU659303 

Words and phrases have meaning when used in government programs; they are actually official abbreviations.

 

"File and Suspend" has been gone since 2015.

AARP 07/2016 - Life After 'File and Suspend' 

 

Filing a "Restricted Application" as the OP (original posted) alluded to is still in existence but is going out soon for those who were born ON or AFTER January 01, 1954.  It has been in effect for those retiring younger than FRA for a while but come January 1, 2020 it is going to cover those at FRA too.

 

Once that happens then everybody that files will be under the "DEEMED FILING" rules - meaning when you file for your benefits - SS will look at all of them for which you qualify and pay the highest one.

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: filing restricted application for spousal benefits - are rules perfectly clear?

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Gail seems spot but consider the use of "file and suspend".  If she files for her spousal benefits and suspends her own, I believe that might help.  Remember that the key word is suspend.  Perhaps the younger workers in the S.A. just need to hear it per their training.  So in a nutshell consider employing the words "file and suspend", and repeatedly if necessary to cover your bases.  Good luck and I hope that you are not being WEP'd or GPO'd.  If so, consider my other posts regarding the SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS ACT of 2019.  Check to see if your representative is a cosponsor at www.congress.gov , and type in H.R. 141, look below and click on cosponsors and then your state on the left side.  If not a cosponsor and you are penalized for those, give your rep's office a call and ask him or her to please cosponsor it.  Good luck. 

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Re: filing restricted application for spousal benefits - are rules perfectly clear?

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@Den458 

Yes, SS sometimes gets it wrong  - I agree that this SS agent gave you the wrong answer -

 

Normally, the system is designed to work opposite from your situation - meaning the older spouse retires at FRA or at least 62 and then the spouse can get spousal benefits as early as age 62 or have a qualifying child in their care.  That maybe what is giving this person at SS pause.  They aren't use to doing it the other way around. 

 

I believe these linked SS pages substantiate your wife's ability to file for spousal benefits based on your work record and let her benefits grow until 70.  Reference them with the SS supervisor.

Here is your ammo -  Keep talking to them until you find one that understands it.

 

Deemed filing began with The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/deemedfaq.html

  The FAQ on this page says:

QUESTION:  I turned 62 before January 2, 2016. Does the new law on deemed filing under the Bipartisan Budget Act affect me? 

ANSWER:  No, if you turned 62 prior to January 2, 2016, the new law that extends deemed filing rules to benefits at FRA and beyond will not apply to you.

 

QUESTION: Can I restrict my application for benefits and apply only for spouse’s benefits and delay filing for my own retirement benefit in order to earn delayed retirement credits?

ANSWER:  If you turn 62 before January 2, 2016, deemed filing rules will not apply if you file at FRA or later. This means that you may file for either your spouse’s benefit or your retirement benefit without being required or “deemed” to file for the other. In your case, you may also restrict your application to apply only for spouse’s benefits and delay filing for your own retirement in order to earn delayed retirement credits.

 

I believe it is this part of the Spousal benefit that is tripping SS up -  It is mentioned on all the related pages.  It should not mess them up - your wife is filing a restricted application for ONLY Spousal benefits.

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/quickcalc/spouse.html 

If a spouse is eligible for a retirement benefit based on his or her own earnings, and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the retirement benefit. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit.

 

However there is a calculator on this same page and when I put in the info which you posted,  this is the data I put in:

Enter your date of birth (month/day/year format):
/ /

Enter the effective month and year for which you would like to begin receiving benefits:
/ (You must be at least age 62 to begin receiving benefits.)

 

it comes up with this statement once computed:

You choose to receive benefits 4 months after normal retirement age. Your benefit will be 50 percent of the worker's primary insurance amount.

 

Then on these SS pages, it says: 

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying7.html 

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying6.html 

 

If your spouse was born before January 2, 1954 and has already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the spouse's benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date. If your spouse is full retirement age and applying for spouse’s benefits only, they can apply online by using the retirement application. Your spouse can also contact us to schedule an appointment.

 

If your spouse’s birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

 

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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filing restricted application for spousal benefits - are rules perfectly clear?

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My wife & I married 48 years, had read about, & thought we thoroughly understood that we met the criteria for her to make a restricted application for spousal benefits. In plain english, she should be able to draw ½ my full benefit beginning her Full Retirement Age 66, while her own benefit continues growing until age 70, when she then takes her own benefit. I’m 68 but began early benefits at age 62. She reached FRA 66 August 2019. Shortly after, we started an ap filing online, but weren’t 100% confident in the steps, so we decided to call Social Security. The agent told my wife that because her earnings record exceeded mine, that she was not eligible to apply for the restricted benefit. I can find no published record or rules now for such disqualifying criteria. The rules appear very simple: one spouse must be receiving benefits & the other must have reached full retirement age AND have a birthday falling not later than 1/01/1954. Her birthday is August 1953. I heard on the radio yesterday that people are being denied when initially asking at Social Security. The radio host says a qualified applicant must escalate it to a supervisor. Are there legitimate earnings criteria that deny the restricted application for spousal benefit to an applicant with an earnings history greater than his/her spouse? Surely agents aren’t trained to deny eligibility on the phone to applicants on initial inquiry. But the radio host comment has me rethinking the phone advice from Social Security. What are the mystery gotchas (denial criteria), if any, that are not well documented? Thanks in advance.

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