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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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Can my wife file social security benefits prior to her FRA

Customer Question

Can my wife file for her social security benefits prior to her FRA and then once she turns 66 (Sept. of 2016) file for 1/2 of my Social Security benefit? I am 68 and am not receiving any benefits yet.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Allen,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

In order for your wife to file for a spouse benefit at any time while you are not taking your own benefits, you must first file and suspend your retirement benefit with social security. And you must do this before April 30, 2016 or you will forever lose the ability to do this.

Then when your wife turns 66 she can file for a restricted spouse benefit and collect just a spouse benefit of 50% of your FRA benefit level while both of your own benefit levels continue to increase on value to as late as age 70.

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.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was told that as she will not be at the FRA until sometime after April 30 we cannot take advantage of file and suspend. However, we were told that she could file now and collect her benefit using what is in her social security pool and then when I file for my benefit she can collect half of that amount and discontinue her benefits she was getting provided that 1/2 my benefit amount is greater than her full benefit.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

The two of you CAN take advantage of file and suspend. So long as your wife was born before January 2, 1954, she retains the legal right to file a restricted spouse benefit after she reaches 66. That way she can collect a spouse benefit and her benefit will continue to grow.

She can also take an early retirement benefit of her own at any time between 62 and 66 and then switch to a spouse benefit when she reaches 66 if she wants. However, there is a penalty for her taking an early retirement benefit and part of that penalty will follow her when she applies for a switch from her own benefit to a spouse benefit at a later time.

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

You may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further.

I wish you well,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.