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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118189
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Husband born 1/16/1947 filed and suspended. Wife born 10/21/1951

Customer Question

Husband born 1/16/1947 filed and suspended. Wife born 10/21/1951 is retiring June 2016. At what age can she file a restricted application for spousal social security benefit -- at 65 or at full retirement age which is 66 and a few months?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
She can file for the restricted benefit at 65. However, if you are under full retirement age when you take a spousal benefit, you cannot abstain from taking a benefit on your own record, and thus, you will be stuck with a permanently lower benefit as a result of taking it prior to your full retirement age. In other words, you are `deemed" to have taken your own retirement benefit immediately upon taking the spousal benefit. If you wait until full retirement age to claim your spousal benefit, not only will you receive a full spousal benefit equal to 50% of the primary beneficiary's retirement benefit, but you can also switch over to your own retirement benefit at a later age.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Your answer is a bit confusing. You say she can apply for a spousal benefit at age 65 but cannot get a spousal benefit. She can only get it whichever is higher the spousal or her own benefit. So that is not a restricted application as I understand it. Is this correct?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.No, if she applies before her full retirement age, she is stuck with the reduced benefit is what I was saying. If she waits until her full retirement age she can get either her full benefit or the full spousal benefit whatever is higher.