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Ask Christopher B, Esq. Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2940
Experience:  associate attorney
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Am told if I am 62 oe older (I am 68) that we can increase

Customer Question

Am told if I am 62 oe older (I am 68) that we can increase out monthly payment if we do so notify you prior to end of april 2016?
I am Alex Abrams
68 years old.
Was married 32 years. Am divorced. My ex and I had a business and when we had the business she made more money than I during the lifetime of our business that was founded in 1984 and ended in 2006.
She fired me from our business that we owned together in December 2002. When we had business together she made more money that I so she currently gets substantially more Social Security Benefits than I in social security benefits.
I have heard that if an ex spouse get more Social Security Benefits than I that I can ask for more Social Security than i am currently getting. Is that true and if so what can I do to get increased social security benefits?
Please advise or please ask any question if i was not clear.
Thank you,
Alex Abrams
68 years old
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 11 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. There is no increase of monthly payments only closing of some planning loopholes. There has been a lot of misinformation out there regarding HR 1314. The changes made in the bipartisan act are being hyped in the media but it is only a small loophole that is being closed. It is not a magical lump sum that has to be elected or banned benefits that you will lose. It deals with "file and suspend" spousal benefits and the "restricted benefit". Let me explain, a spouse can only take the spousal benefit if the other spouse has elected to take their benefit. Currently the law is changing and a "suspend and file" cannot be elected starting on may 1, 2016. In this circumstance at full retirement age (66) one could file and suspend their benefits and continue earning credits until age 70 and their spouse could elect to take the spousal benefit. 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. Also the "restricted benefit" is being eliminated. If you turned age 62 be the end of December 31, 2015, you would be grandfathered in and at full retirement age you will still be able to restrict your benefit. This means that if you or your spouse would like to elect to take only the spousal benefit as opposed to your normal retirement benefit, you can restrict your election to ONLY the spousal benefit. This would allow you to collect the 50% spousal benefit while still gaining credits to your normal retirement benefit from ages 66-70 (the credit increases your benefit approximately 8% per year). After the law changes, at full retirement age, you would have to take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit. You can no longer choose just the spousal and let your normal retirement benefit grow while still take the spousal benefit. As for the ex spousal benefits. You are eligible if you were married for more than 10 years (you were) and did not remarry (or at least did not remarry before age 60). Depending on when you retired and elected to take your SS, you can get a max benefit of 50%. If you retired at early retirement then your applicable spouse benefit will decrease because of the early retirement penalty. For example, if you retired at age 62 your spousal benefit will be 32.5%. Also understand that the spousal benefit does not stack with your current benefit. You receive the higher of the two benefits. So if the ex spousal benefit is higher than your own, you can switch to that benefit and increase what you receive. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?