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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 34884
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 have been receiving widow benefits since age 60 which were

Customer Question

I have been receiving widow benefits since age 60 which were reduced because my husband took his social security benefits early at age 62. Under the new laws beginning in May 2016, can I continue to receive my widow's benefits until I reach age 70 and then switch to my own work record? Do I have to file and suspend my own social security benefits at age 66, my full retirement age, so my benefits will increase 8 per cent each year I wait to apply for retirement benefits. I'm worried that if I do this, under the new rules I may forfeit my widows benefits after I suspend my retirement benefits. Is there a 'grandfather's clause" that will allow me to continue to receive my widow's benefits while my retirement benefits increase from age66 to age 70? Can you clarify how the new law will affect my scenario please?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good evening Michelle,I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. Yes, you absolutely may continue to take your survivor benefit while allowing your own retirement benefit to also continue to grow up to as late as age 70 to maximize your own retirement benefit. You do not need to file and suspend or to take any other affirmative action. Filing and suspending is only used when you have a spouse who wants to take a spouse benefit. So, that is not necessary. You will not forfeit your widow/survivor benefit. All you need to do is to do nothing now. Your benefit will continue to be paid to you to age 70 and which point you must ask to be switched to your retirement benefit. The new changes in the law will in no way effect your survivor benefit nor your 8% per year that your own retirement benefit is still growing. You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.I wish you and yours the best in 2016,Doug
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good evening,Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.As I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?Thanks in advance,Doug

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