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Ask Christopher B, Esq. Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  associate attorney
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This Janet Kay Wielosik (Straughn) I am writting about

Customer Question

Hi This Janet Kay **** (****) I am writting about my Social Security Boost about the two loopholes that will be closinf on April 30th 2016 And i had sent for a Get Whats Yours from Social Security the book ix called The secrets to Making out your Social Security. I am only recievening 75% and also i am only Getting Part of My Sx husband (surivor spouse) Richard had passed away. an I don"t get all of his Social Security. Please tell my Why? I am 66 an that it when i started My Social Security Benifits an my Survivor benfits.there are 2 loopholes in your system that make me only recieve 75% an My survivor Benifets where i am only getting part of his. Can you please Fix that for me, thank you ,Janet **** **** last name is (****)
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. You do not receive both benefits, as they do not stack. You will receive the higher of your own benefit and the survivor benefit. You have some leeway in to which one you want to elect and let the other grow, but you cannot get both at once. You may also not get all if you elected to take it before full retirement age as the early retirement penalty applies. If you take it at the earliest age then your survivor benefit will be reduced permanently 30%. There is no boost per se only the closing of several planning loopholes and you will not be eligible for those since you do not have a spouse. the survivor benefit will be unaffected. Here is a summary of the changes going into place 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 by 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 taking 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?