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TaxRobin
TaxRobin, Tax Preparer
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13343
Experience:  15+ years in tax preparation and instruction
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Good morning . . I could not help but

Customer Question

Good morning Ely. My name is Brenda. I could not help but notice all off the advertising for Social Security loopholes for those who receive benefits of one kind or another from Social Security. Is this true? Who does it apply to? I am a 63 widow receiving widows benefit through my deceased husband's SS #. I need some guidance here! Can you help me?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 7 months ago.
HelloThe expert you requested was not available and I was asked to assist you.The changes for SSA do not take away any existing benefits or alter core Social Security benefits or payment levels, they are not "hidden" or "radical," and they do not "threaten the financial security" of millions of Americans.The changes will eliminate a few ways used by some people to maximize their Social Security benefits. The most discussed change applies to Social Security's "file and suspend" strategy, which allowed couples to maximize their combined benefits by having one spouse file for Social Security upon reaching full retirement age (currently 66), then immediately suspending the benefits. This allowed the other spouse to claim a spousal benefit while their deferred Social Security grew.This would be aimed at couples still in the workforce.The file-and-suspend strategy will no longer work after May 1, 2016. At that time, a person must file for Social Security and actually receive benefits in order for a husband or wife to get a spousal benefit.Another change eliminates "restricted applications," this allows persons who are between full retirement age and age 70 to file an application to claim spousal benefits but defer collecting their own benefits; upon reaching 70, they change from receiving spousal benefits to receiving their own (larger) benefits.With the elimination of restricted applications and the introduction of deemed filing for all ages, a spouse can only receive the larger of either their spousal benefit or their own benefit. They can't change their choice either, which means no deferring benefits until age 70 and then switching options for a larger monthly check.However, those who will turn 62 by the end of the year will be grandfathered in under the old rules for restricted applications. You are not effected based on your age.I hope the above has cleared up the SSA changes for you. So many articles made it sound like you could get a huge pot of money.You are required to click a positive rating if I am to be credited with the response.You have to actively click on a rating and click submit. Smiley Faces or Stars.

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