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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  associate attorney
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I am a female that will be 63 on 09/07/2016. I was married

Customer Question

I am a female that will be 63 on 09/07/2016. I was married for 21 years from 1988 to 2009 to the same man. My ex-husband is 72 years old. He will be 73 on 09/03/2016. He is currently collecting his social security. I am still working and not receiving any social security benefits. I keep reading that there is something that I should do before the end of April to ensure that I will receive the highest benefits I can get. Can someone please explain this to me and tell me what it is that I need to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
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. The file and suspend does not apply to you and is the only thing that requires you to act before May 1 because of HR 1314. Since you were age 62 by December 31, 2015, you are grandfathered into the "restricted benefit". This will allow you, at full retirement age, to restrict your benefit to ONLY the spousal benefit but still be able to collect 8% credits per year from ages 66-70, increasing your overall benefit by 32%. You do not have to file this by May 1 and instead file a restricted application when you reach full retirement age. Since you were married for more than 10 years, you can receive an ex spousal benefit as long as you did not remarry before age 60 or if you did, you are not currently married. See below for the summary of changes going into effect on May 1: There has been a lot of misinformation out there regarding HR 1314. The changes made 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 or banned benefits that you will lose. It 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. 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 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. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?