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lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 29569
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Couple married years. Wife age 66 working full time,

Customer Question

Couple married for 35 years. Wife age 66 working full time, has not filed for SS retirement (and probably will not for another few years). Husband age 73 unemployed, receiving modified "windfall penalty" SS retirement as a government employee.
Question - can husband file now for dependent benefits under wife's account?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
You meant - for spousal social security benefits?Yes - after the wife will apply for benefits.However spousal social security benefits will be affected by WEP the same way as husband's own social security benefits.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. After writing to you, I ran down o our local SSA office. They said "There's a lot of disinformation out there." And "This possible decision to choose between employee vs spousal status applies solely when both parties file initial applications simultaneously." In other words, they said not applicable to our situation. Thanks anyway. Pete Carton
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.
Many people wonder how the SSA figures their Social Security retirement benefit.The Social Security Administration bases Social Security benefits on your lifetime earnings.They adjust or index your actual earnings to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received.Then Social Security calculates your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most.And after that - they apply a formula to these earnings and arrive at your basic benefit, or primary insurance amount.This is how much you would receive at your full retirement age.So depending on your earning record - it is possible that there are some missing years or earning.Also additional years of earning might increase your benefits.If so - that could affect your social security benefit calculations and you may contact the Social Security Administration and verify if all information is correct.Following publication might be helpful for better understanding the calculations. appreciate if you take a moment to rate the answer.Experts are ONLY credited when answers are rated positively.If you still have any doubts, need clarification - please be sure to ask.I am here to help you with all tax related issues.

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