Can I Apply Online To Switch From Drawing Divorced Spousal Benefits To Drawing My Own Benefits?

Category: 
Dec 4 2019 - 4:31pm

Hi Larry,

I filed a "restricted application" when I turned 66 in Sept 2016 which has allowed my own benefit to continue to grow. I plan to file for my own benefits upon turning 70 which will be Sept of 2020. I'm looking for help with the logistics.

(1) Is there an online application somewhere to request a switch from ex-spousal benefits to my own? Or must I do this via phone, personal visit, or some paper application since I am already receiving an ex-spouse benefit?

(2) Based on my birthday (9/10/1950), how early can I start the process of filing for my own benefit?

Thank you,
Dennis

Hi Dennis,

No, you won't be able to file for your own benefits online if you're already drawing divorced spousal benefits. You'll need to apply either by phone or in person at a Social Security office.

Based on your birthdate and assuming that you want to start drawing your benefits at age 70, you'll want to choose September 2020 as your month of election (MOE) to start your own benefits. Social Security allows you to file applications up to 4 months in advance of your MOE, so May 1 2020 would be the earliest that you could apply for benefits and choose September 2020 as your MOE.

Best, Jerry