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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35309
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I applied security at 66 and I am receiving full benefits.

Customer Question

I applied for social security at 66 and I am receiving full benefits. My wife took early retirement and is receceiving hers plus a reduced portion of the spousal benefits. She will now be 66 in January. Cans he;
(1) suppend her current benefits and receive higher spousal benefits even though ishe is already receiving reduced spousal benefits in addition to her own?
or
(2) Can she cancel her SS in favor of receiving higher spousal benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I'm afraid that when your wife applied for a spouse benefit before full retirement age---which is the ONLY way she could be getting her reduced early retirement and a portion to compensate for the difference between that and her early spouse benefit----she has no other options to increase her benefits with two exceptions. She can neither suspend nor cancel her present benefits in the hope of getting a higher benefit at this point in time. That is simply not a strategy that will result in a greater retirement benefit to her.

First, she will continue to receive any annual cost of living increases that social security might pay, and second, if you pre-decease your wife, she will be entitled to a full survivor benefit equal to the amount of benefits that you may be collecting as of the date of your passing. She will not have any penalty assessed to her survivor benefit based on her having taken an early retirement benefit.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,

Doug