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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
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 turned 67 on April 2, 2015. If I file Security

Customer Question

I turned 67 on April 2, 2015.
If I file for social Security in August 2015 I was told I would get a check for back payments from April of 2014 when I turned 66. That could be 17 months paid to me in a lump,sum. Is this correct?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
I'm afraid that the concept of retroactive benefits was not well explained to you.
It is true that you may retire now and seek some retroactive retirement benefits. However, the social security regulations allow you to only seek up to 6 months of retroactive benefits---so your if you apply in August 2015 for retirement, your benefits will be paid only from February of 2015.
However, because you will have only gone back the 6 months, your benefit for the rest of your life will be nearly 8% higher than it would be if you were allowed to go back the 17 months. This is because of the delayed retirement credit that you will receive for having waited.
From an actuarial (statistical) point of view, over your lifetime the money that you were not able to get paid retroactively from age 66 will result in a higher monthly payment and you will eventually recover all of that money anyway---it will just be paid to you in terms of higher benefits as opposed to a lump sum.
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.
Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2015,