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lev-tax
lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 29535
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I will be 66 in July and intend on taking my social security

Customer Question

I will be 66 in July and intend on taking my social security (FRA) benefit starting when eligible. My wife is 5 years younger but currently on Soc Security Disability. Will she receive an added benefit (i.e. half of my Soc Security payout) at this point? If so, what must be done to make sure we have everything scheduled?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
For your spouse - to be eligible for social security benefits based on YOUR working record - you should start your benefits Or you may apply and suspend (that option will be eliminated from May 1, 2016)In this case - your spouse may be eligible for social security benefits based on her own work record and for spousal benefits based on your working record.But she would not receive both benefits at the same time - but would be entitled to the largest amount.Questions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please explain to me what option will be eliminated on May 1, 2016?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also ... when I do turn 66 and start collecting my FRA through Social Security, will my wife still be entitled to collect 1/2 of what I collect even though she will only be 61? Note that she currently received Soc Security Disability payments now but they are not as much as she would get if she gets half of mine.
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
Under current law - you may receive spousal benefits while your own benefits are delayed and keep growing - that is restricted application.If you apply NOW - you may get 50% of your spouse's benefits instead of your own.That option will gone starting May 1, 2016Another issue - whether you would benefit from that option or not - that depends on your specific circumstances..Under the current law when you reach the FRA (full retirement age) - you may file a restricted application. The restricted application allows you to delay your social security benefits and keep them grow till age 70 and you become eligible to claim a spousal benefit based on YOUR spouse s earnings record.The law which we are discussing is The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 on 11/02/2015 it Became Public Law No: 114-74Here is the documenthttps://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ74/PLAW-114publ74.pdfHowever that specific provision will be in effect starting May 1st of 2016.See SEC. 831. CLOSURE OF UNINTENDED LOOPHOLES. on page 26 in this document.Let me know if you need any clarification this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT I DO NOT QUALIFY FOR THE OPTION THAT GOES AWAY ON MAY 1 DUE TO MY BIRTHDAY TO TURN 66 NOT BEING BEFORE THEN. I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO BE 66 BEFORE THE END OF APRIL AND I WON'T BE UNTIL JULY SO IT'S A MOOT POINT, CORRECT?
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
Indeed you do qualify - if you start benefits now - and if you qualify for spousal benefits now - then later when you will reach full retirement age - you may switch to spousal benefits (that are 50% of what your spouse would be entitled ) and may suspend your own benefits till age 70.
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
However your spousal benefits might be much less than your own - so you might need to verify if you would benefit from that strategy in the long run.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm still unclear on something. Let's forget the applying for benefits now option so the deadline of May 1 will eliminate that option for me. I do not plan on applying for benefits until my 66th birthday (FRA) in July. That being said my question is: when I receive my social security in July (I am the main breadwinner) will my wife be allowed to receive spousal benefits (50% of mine) at that time also even though she is only 61 years of age (currently on soc sec disability)? Or will she be unable to receive the 50% until she reaches her FRA (age 66) in 1971?
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
When you reach your full retirement age - your wife will be eligible for spousal benefits based on YOUR working record.As she is disabled - her age is not relevant for her eligibility.However - that doesn't mean she would be receiving two social security checks...She will receive the larger benefit from which she is eligible.If her spousal benefits are larger than her own - her social security check will increase,