Larry - I have read conflicting advice on this issue, and hope you will have the answer. My wife has recently reached FRA, and she plans to file for spousal benefits based on my record (I reached FRA in 2015 and filed and suspended my benefits prior to the April 2016 deadline). My question is whether my wife can file for just her spousal benefits online, or must she file a paper application. Thanks for your help. JD
Yes, your wife should be able to file a restricted application for spousal benefits only online at Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html.
She'll want to make sure to restrict the scope of her application by adding a remark in the remarks section such as 'I wish to restrict the scope of this application to spousal benefits only.', or 'I wish to restrict retirement benefits on my own record from the scope of this application.' There may also be a specific question within the application path that asks her if she also wants to apply for benefits on her own record, and she should of course answer that question 'No'.