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dylatess
dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3427
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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I filed benefits at age 65 and then suspended the claim but

Customer Question

I filed for SS benefits at age 65 and then suspended the claim but took spousal benefits. I am now 70 (in November of 2016) and will claim maximized benefits. Is my 71 year old wife able to claim spousal benefits, as she took her benefits at age 62?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  emc011075 replied 4 months ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

If you spouse applied for her benefits at 62 she permanently reduced her own but also her spousal benefits by about 30%. Only one spouse can collect spousal benefits, but the social security doesn't state that both spouses cannot collect spousal benefits at different times. If her spousal benefits are higher than her own, the social security should automatically switch her to the highest benefits available to her own, or the spousal. Her spousal benefits would be about 32% of what you were eligible for at 65 (your full retirement age).

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Why would my wife's spousal benefits be estimated at 32% of full retirement benefits and not 50% of my age 65 benefits? That doesn't seem to make common sense to me, even realizing that these laws were written by our congressional representatives.
Expert:  emc011075 replied 4 months ago.

Because she applied for her benefits at 62. By applying early, she permanently reduced her own but also all future benefits available to her.

Here's spousal benefits calculator: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html#calculator

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