How Does My Husband Go About Suspending His Benefits?

Jan 11 2017 - 4:30am

Having recently (2010) been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I filed for SSDI in 2011 (denied) and again in 2013. My husband had to start collecting early retirement as I was unable to work. My SSDI claim was finally approved in 2016. I read in your book about having to claim early due to hardship/recession and when turning 66 it may be good to suspend benefits until age 70. Is that correct? If it is correct, my husband turns 66 in February 2017 so does that mean he has to notify SSA to suspend benefits by the end of January 2017? Also, would he be able to file for spousal benefit on my SSN? Your timely response is greatly appreciated.

Hi,

If your husband wants to suspend his benefits effective with the earliest possible month (i.e. February 2017), he'll need to make his request to Social Security no later than the end of this month. He could suspend benefits effective with a later month, but benefits may be suspended no earlier than the month following the month in which the request for suspension is filed. If he suspends his benefits for the full 4 years from age 66 until age 70, his benefit rate will be 32% higher when they resume at age 70.

Suspension may be requested either verbally or in writing, but I would suggest submitting the request in writing. Social Security does not have a specific form for this purpose, but your husband may want to use a form SSA-795 (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-795.pdf) to make his request for suspension.

Your husband could not get spousal benefits on your record while his benefits are in suspense, and he would only qualify for spousal benefits if 50% of your disability benefit rate is higher than his own full retirement age rate.

Best, Jerry