Is A Do-Over Possible?

Feb 8 2017 - 7:00am

My spouse took SSDI in 2009 and I took a spousal benefit on that account at FRA in 2013. My spouse turned FRA in July 2016 and her benefit was changed from SSDI to SS. I just turned 70 and will be getting my delayed retirement benefit staring this month on my own account. Since it is less than 12 months since my spouse went on regular SS, is their a do-over possible? I know, if there is, that we would have to return 6-7 months of her benefit and my spousal benefit. If it is possible, is there a formula to show whether it makes economic sense to give that back and then have us collect my benefit while hers grows to age 70.

Hi,

If you're asking whether your wife can opt to receive spousal benefits only instead of her retirement benefits, the answer is no. Social Security rewrote their rules at the end of 2014 to preclude that option (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/social-securitys-christmas-pres...).

If your wife's own retirement benefit rate is less than 50% of your full retirement age rate (PIA), then she'll want to file for an excess spousal benefit on your record. Otherwise, it sounds like you've both already filed for all of the benefits you can receive for now.

Best, Jerry