There has been some confusion on whether one can take spousal benefit when waiting for his/her own to suspend after the full retirement age. The reason is that the new SSA law has terminated such provision. But supposedly, it is for retiree who turned 66 in the year of 2016. If you voluntarily suspended benefits prior to April 30, 2016, you may remain in voluntary suspense status, and the new law will not affect you.
However, in the SSA and even in the professional circles, arguments on who will be affected still exist.
Therefore, it is suggested that you go to an SSA regional office to patiently discuss the matter with them and do not just use or wait for the phone calls. Also, because you have lump sum coming in potentially, you may want to consult with an attorney specializing in the area, even consulting several of them, and may be retain one to represent you if your effort directly with the SSA is unsuccessful. If they get 1/3 of your lump sum, you still have the future payment and the 2/3 left. If you can pay them to represent you by the hour, if may also worthwhile.
In sum, consult several attorneys and get more definite answers. Go in to a regional SSA office and be very patient with them. The quotations and website links below are for your further references.
Please feel free to follow up.
Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-74; November 2, 2015), made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Section 831 of the law (entitled “Closure of Unintended Loopholes”) made several changes to the Social Security Act and closed two complex loopholes that were used primarily by married couples. This fact sheet explains what is changing and how it might affect you.
Go the this following website to read the whole text. The change is significant. But it should not apply in your situation because you over over age 66 and your suspension was before April 2016. Now, you are just applying for the spousal benefit.
These quotations below just describe the normal procedure.
If a husband or wife has been married for at least a year to someone who receives Social Security disability benefits, the spouse can get Social Security benefits if the spouse is 62 years old or older. Note that eligibility for the spousal disability benefit will end if he or she becomes eligible to receive significantly higher Social Security benefits on his or her own record.
If your husband or wife’s disability claim has already been approved, call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at(###) ###-####to apply for the spouse’s SSDI benefit. You must provide the SSA with your birth certificate, your marriage certificate, your Social Security number (and that of the disabled worker), and your bank’s routing information for direct deposit.