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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13284
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My husband is 70 and retired. He collects SS benefits and a

Customer Question

My husband is 70 and retired. He collects SS benefits and a couple of small pensions. I'm 62 and working full time due to needing medical insurance. I collected 3 SS payments after becoming 62 intending on semi retirement but could not afford the insurance monthly payments so I suspended my SS payments and went back to work. Is there any thing else I can do at this time to obtain a ss payout benefit or obtain benefits from my spouses benefits?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 8 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.

Can you clarify? What EXACTLY did you do after filing for benefits at 62, getting 3 months worth? There is no option to "suspend" before your FRA (full retirement age). Did you "withdraw" your application and pay back the 3 months?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No I have not withdrawn my application. I just suspended getting my benenfits and went back to work. They said I could withdraw by 4/1/16 and pay back what I was paid but I don' have the money to do that.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 8 months ago.

OK, just so you are aware, you did not legally suspend them, rather, you just can't be paid them because you earn too much. If you don't actually withdraw your filing, you are always deemed to be "entitled" to your own benefits. Since your own benefits are higher than your spousal benefits, you can never switch to spousal later, and let your own be suspended to grow bigger to age 70.

When did you turn 62? I am asking because I want to see if you'd ever be eligible for that 'restricted' spousal application later, at your FRA. So let me know if you turned 62 before or after the end of 2015, OK?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I became 62 on March 24 2015.
Would I have to pay back the entire 3777.00 to withdraw?
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 8 months ago.

OK, your age is great, because this mean that if you CAN withdraw and payback, you can then, at your FRA, collect on your husband's record, 50% of his primary insurance amount. You would do this by filing a RESTRICTED application for spousal benefits, NOT an application on your own record. Restricted only. You can collect that while you work, up to age 70. Your own benefit will grow by 32% over your PIA (and will be about 80% bigger than what you were collecting at 62!). And you can then collect your own great benefit forever, once you switch to it at age 70. The reason why it is so great is that for people AFTER you, if they want to grow their own benefit til age 70, they have to take NOTHING for those 4 years between 66 and 70. They are not permitted to file a restricted application for spousal only because they are not 'grandfathered' from the new law, like you are. So, if you can in anyway pay back and withdraw, I'd seriously consider it.

Yes, you have to pay the whole 3777 to withdraw. And you must withdraw within 12 months. Perhaps you can save the 3777 between now and then OR, see if the SSA will allow you to withdraw while putting you on payment plan on the 3777. I'd consider moving heaven and earth to be able to file a restricted application when I hit 66 (although I am not grandfathered) so I hate to see you not see if you can't do it.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 8 months ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

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