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lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 29965
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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At age 65 I applied and received my retirement benefits (4

Customer Question

at age 65 I applied and received my retirement benefits (4 yrs ago). I recently went to the SS office and was told that I should have taken half my husband's benefits and held off on mine until I was 70 - I would have received $169 more per month. No one at the SS office told me this and now they say I have no recourse even though it was their fault - they won't even allow me to take half my husband's benefits. Do I have recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.

You might have a recourse if you APPLIED for spousal benefits and your application was rejected.

If however you did not apply - there is no recourse, unfortunately.

However if you do receive social security benefits - and if you are eligible for benefits based on your own earning record AND for spousal benefits - you woudl ALWAYS receive your benefits first - and additional amount if spousal benefits are higher.

You may not elect which benefits to receive if you qualify for both.

Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.

"suspend until age 70" - means you will NOT receive social security benefits.

When you plan to "apply now for the spousal benefit" - that is not suspend...
In additional - as I mentioned above - we may NOT elect which benefits to receive.

If you are eligible to both social security benefits based on your earning record AND spousal benefits - the SSA will pay your benefits first and if spousal benefits are higher - your benefits will be increased by that difference.

If you think that you may suspend your benefits and at the same time receive spousal benefits - that is not correct interpretation and will not work - you either receiving benefits OR not receiving (suspend).

Any questions?