Am I Correct That I Shouldn't Be Required To File For My Social Security Retirement Benefits Prior To Age 70?

May 28 2019 - 3:32pm

Dear Larry,

I’m trying to argue with SSI that I was exempted from “filing for other benefits” namely SS RIB based upon Exception C in SI 00510.001 Overview of the Filing for Other Program Benefits Requirement in the POMS manual. I’m fighting this because if I delay RIB to age 70 and gain enough from my book sales I want to be free and done with SSI. Essentially I’m correct in that the filing for the RIB would not increase the benefit thereby exempting me from filing for RIB. SSI argues the filing triggers a GEI (General Income Exclusion) of $20 that raises the payment amount by $20. I argue that the exclusion is just that and not an “other benefit” that can be filed for when “filing for other benefits”. Plus it’s a future exclusion that can be called on or not by any SSI recipient and applicable to both earned and unearned income that may or may not exist. Ever come across a situation like this?

Interestingly by my calculations SSI would gain an average of $2000 a year by allowing retirement at age 70 to those who desire it thereby decreasing their dependency on SSI and cutting the program’s expenditures. Its a win-win-win situation for the taxpayer, recipient, and SSI program.

Regards,
Jon

Hi Jon,

I think you must be misinterpreting the section of Social Security's operations manual (POMS) cited in your question. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you are potentially eligible for Social Security benefits, you are required to apply for your Social Security benefits effective with the earliest possible month of eligibility even if doing so results in a reduced benefit rate. If you don't, your SSI benefits will stop. The reason is that SSI is a needs based benefit intended as a last resort source of income, so if you are eligible to draw any other type of benefit you must do so as a condition for continuing SSI eligibility.

Best, Jerry