How Do I File Online For Spousal Benefits?

Category: 
Jan 15 2017 - 1:00pm

Larry:
I will turn 66 (DOB 4/30/1951) on 4/30/2017. I desire to wait till I am 70 to collect SS payments on my Own record.
My wife has been collecting SS payments on her own record for 5 years when she reached her FRA. I would like to file an application for a Spousal Benefit that I can collect when I reach my FRA on 4/30 this year. Please help me on how I can do this online (what form to fill out and when to fill out) and make sure that Social Security Admin folks understand that this is a spousal benefit and NOT an application for benefits on my Own record. Sincere thanks in advance.

Hi,

Social Security's online applications can only be accessed by people who actually intend to file for benefits, and I have no personal experience with the online filing process. According to Social Security's website, though, you can apply for spousal benefits online. The paper application form for spousal benefits is an SSA-2, but I don't know if that's used for the online version. This is a link to the ssa.gov website: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html. I assume you should click on 'spouse's' to start the process, and then follow the application path that follows.

You'll want to make sure to restrict the scope of your 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 you if you also want to apply for benefits on your own record, and you should of course answer that question 'No'.

As far as when to apply, you can do that as soon as today. You don't need to apply that far in advance, but you can. Just be sure to specify that you want elect benefits beginning with the month in which you turn age 66, which naturally is April 2017 in your case.

Best, Jerry