I am eligible and understand the principles of Restricted Application for Social Security benefits. However, I need to confirm the exact month to file for those benefits either online or in person.
Do I need to wait until I actually obtain FRA (66 years, July 2017) to claim my spousal
Or can I apply during the typically recommended 3 month window prior to FRA with the same result and not being defaulted into benefits based on my record ?
Can this all be done online or must I do it in person?
You can apply up to 4 months in advance of the month you want to start your benefits, so you could file as early as now. I believe that you should be able to file online since you are not currently receiving another type of benefit.
On your application, there will be a month of election question. You will want to elect the month that you attain age 66 as your month of election. Social Security counts you as reaching your next age on the day before your birthday, so if you happen to have been born on the first day of a month, you can elect the month prior to your actual birth month.
You may want to consider running the maximization software on this website before filing in order to make sure that you choose the best filing strategy.