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Ask Christopher B, Esq. Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  associate attorney
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I have been told that because I am over 62 and have children

Customer Question

I have been told that because I am over 62 and have children under the age of 18 I am eligible to collect a social security benefit. I am not retired and do not plan to retire until Dec. 31, 2022, when I will be 70. My questions are:
Is this true? Am I eligible for a benefit even though I am not retired? If so how much would I collect. I have one child turning 18 in June but heading off to 5 years of college in Sept. Another child is 15.
Am I eligible to collect this benefit only as long as they are claimed as a dependent on my Federal return? I have a child on the autism spectrum that may be a dependent well beyond the age of 21.
If true, does this money come out of the money that would be paid to me upon retirement, thus reducing my retirement benefit when I do retire?
If I collect this benefit is it taxable income? I'm already in a higher bracket?
Will it reduce my children's eligibility for financial aid for college?
If I die, is my wife eligible to continue collecting this benefit as a surviving spouse?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

You can start receiving your Social Security benefits at age 62 but it will be subject to the early retirement reduction. The earliest you can start collecting your benefits without penalty is at full retirement age. From the social security website: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html

"If you start your retirement benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit amount is reduced by about 30 percent. The reduction for starting benefits at age 63 is about 25 percent; 64 is about 20 percent; 65 is about 13.3 percent; and 66 is about 6.7 percent."

See link: https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/Article/3739/What-happens-if-I-work-and-get-Social-Security-retirement-benefits

"We use the following earnings limits to reduce your benefits: If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016 that limit is $15,720." It does not matter how old your children are for this benefit unless you are also wanting to apply for the spousal benefit.

See Social Security link: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html

"When a worker files for retirement benefits, the worker's spouse may be eligible for a benefit based on the worker's earnings. Another requirement is that the spouse must be at least age 62 or have a qualifying child in her/his care. By a qualifying child, we mean a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits.

The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. If the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced."

See the same website to ascertain your exact retirement age is. You can apply for your benefits at anytime, please see for link to apply online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib

This will not affect your children's ability for financial aid.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further question? I want you to be satisfied with my service, so please let me know.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I had several questions and I'm not sure you answered any of them. I could have gotten your answers directly from Social Security. My questions concerned a specific benefit that I was told is available to people over 62 who are not retired but have children under 18. Is there such a benefit or not? I am 63 and my wife is 52 and I have 2 kids ages 17 and 15.It sounded too good to be true so it probably isn't . But I wanted to check it out.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

I assume what they are talking about is the spousal benefit. All of these websites claim to have some huge benefit that you can receive but it is all half truths. The spousal benefit gives a spouse that is at least age 62 (they would have a reduction in benefits unless they are taking care of a child age 18 or under) a 50% benefit IF their spouse has elected to receive their social security benefit. So the spouse would be the one that has not retired and they could receive the 50% benefit based on their spouse's SS benefit. This obviously does not fit your situation and is not something that will give you a big lump sum anyway. The spousal benefit is not going away and can be elected under the right circumstances but the spouse will take the higher of their retirement benefit and their spousal benefit. Their have been certain changes made to this option as well that go into effect on May 1 , 2016 that you would not be eligible for anyway.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

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