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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13568
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My wife and I are both 68. I have commenced and receive ~

Customer Question

My wife and I are both 68. I have commenced and receive ~ 24,000/year. My wife has not commenced and has not claimed a spousal benefit because she is still working (earning more than the limit for years). Her benefit would be over 30,00 and we believe that it goes up 8% for two more years (our birthdays are both in May).
Is there a way we can claim spousal benefits using a commence & suspend strategy that will yield a higher benefit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi, my name is***** and I am here to assist you. I am a social security attorney in my private practice – that is ALL I do. Please let me know that my post here is coming through for you by typing a quick reply.

You indicate YOU are collecting your SS benefits. That being the case, do you have any plans to suspend them?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

With regard to your post:

"Will we both receive separate ss checks at the calculated maximum amount, ----- YES.

"or will we only receive one benefit check, losing the lesser of the two?------- No, each person is always to get a check. Once check each.

"Also, what effect if any, will the new regulation beginning in may of this year have on our benefits. ------- None, if you are doing as you indicated above.

I have the smaller benefit. Should I file for ss now or wait as planned. In other words, should I use it or lose it? thank you. ------ You won't lose it if you do as planned, above. However, being 62 before end of 2015, if you two wished, YOU could collect a spousal at age 66+) IF you become eligible (your wife would have to file, so perhaps wait til May when she turned her FRA) and let your own continue to grow. You'd do that by filing a "Restricted" application for spousal benefits only. Your wife can not do this because she did not turn 62 by end of 2015. Any time she files, it will be for whichever is bigger, her own or spousal (and likely her own will be bigger). If she files at 66, so you can get a restricted spousal, hers will never grow to 70, but yours will. But, she DOES get 48 extra payments from 66-70 and you get abut 42 payments of spousal (1/2 of hers) from 66.5 - 70. Is that amount, particularly if you SAVE it, worth HER not collecting a higher amount at 70? You will want to do the math or have your Financial Advisor or accountant do so.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

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