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I've been collecting SS since age 62 in 2003 and have

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recently been declared 20% disabled...
I've been collecting SS since age 62 in 2003 and have recently been declared 20% disabled by the VA. I've noticed applications for certain SS benefits, due to recent congressional activity, may be eliminated. Are there any benefits that I may apply for that could increase my meager income?
Ed Ely
Johnson City, Tx (###) ###-####
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Social Security
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2/2/2016
Social Security Expert: Christopher B, Esq., Attorney replied 2 years ago
Christopher B, Esq.
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3,019
Experience: associate attorney
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My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

These changes will not affect you as you are over the age of 70 and these types of elections are not available to you, so there is nothing to worry about. The changes in the bipartisan act are being hyped in the media but it is only a small loophole that is being closed. It is not a magical lump sum that has to be elected and deals with "file and suspend" spousal benefits and the "restricted benefit". Let me explain, a spouse can only take the spousal benefit if the other spouse has elected to take their benefit. Another requirement is that the spouse must be at least age 62 or have a qualifying child in her/his care. By a qualifying child, social security means a child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits. Currently the law is changing and a "suspend and file" cannot be elected starting on may 1, 2016. In this circumstance at full retirement age (66) one could file and suspend their benefits and continue earning credits until age 70 and their spouse could elect to take the spousal benefit. The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's "primary insurance amount," depending on the spouse's age at retirement. If the spouse begins receiving benefits before "normal (or full) retirement age," the spouse will receive a reduced benefit. However, if a spouse is caring for a qualifying child, the spousal benefit is not reduced. Also the "restricted benefit" is being eliminated. If you turned age 62 be the end of December 31, 2015, you would be grandfathered in and at full retirement age you will still be able to restrict your benefit. This means that if you or your spouse would like to elect to take only the spousal benefit as opposed to your normal retirement benefit, you can restrict your election to ONLY the spousal benefit. This would allow you to collect the 50% spousal benefit while still gaining credits to your normal retirement benefit from ages 66-70 (the credit increases your benefit approximately 8% per year). After the law changes, at full retirement age, you would have to take the higher of the spousal benefit and your retirement benefit. You can no longer choose just the spousal benefit and let your normal retirement benefit grow while still take the spousal benefit.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

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Social Security Expert: Christopher B, Esq., Attorney replied 2 years ago

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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3,019
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Experience: associate attorney

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