Can I Collect Benefits Retroactive To My 70th Birthday?

Jan 11 2017 - 4:15pm

I will retire in April - I turned 70 yrs. old in March 2016. I did not take my social security at that time as I am still working. I will start taking it the month I retire. Can I collect back to my 70th birthday or at least collect for the past 6 months? I thought I needed to be retired before I started asking them to send my monthly check. I have set up a meeting with my local SS office - should I also seek an attorney to help me collect back payments?

Thank you for your assistance.

Hi,

You can't collect benefits retroactively for more than 6 months from the month in which you apply. So, if you apply this month, you should be able to receive benefits back to July 2016, but not all the way back to March 2016. However, if you contacted Social Security in a previous month to set up your upcoming appointment, it may have established a protective filing date that could permit an earlier month of entitlement to be established.

As you apparently know now, your work and earnings would not have precluded you from receiving your Social Security benefits starting with age 70, or even starting with age 66 for that matter. And since delayed retirement credits only accrue up until age 70, it would almost certainly have been more advantageous for you to have started drawing benefits no later than when you turned age 70.

I doubt if an attorney would be of much assistance to you with regard to your Social Security situation, but I don't have access to all of the facts of your case. You may want to first see how Social Security handles your claim before deciding if you want to pay an attorney.

Best, Jerry