Can I File For Spousal Benefits Only And Then Apply For My Own Benefits At Age 70?

Mar 9 2017 - 7:00am

Hello: I will be 65 this year (June) and have not applied for SS yet. My husband will be 62 in Sept this year and will be applying to normal SS and following up with a request for SS disability, he is an 80% disabled veteran. He has been working for 30 years, but needs to retire due to complications. My question is, can I apply for SS requesting spousal benefits until I reach 70 years of age and then apply for my own SS? If by chance he is not approved for for SS disability, and has to stay at a reduced rate (62 years of age) what happens to the widow benefit when he passes? Thank you so much for your time.


Yes, since you were born prior to January 2 1954, you can file for spousal benefits only at age 66 and let your own benefit rate grow until age 70. Of course, your husband must be drawing his benefits in order for you to be eligible for spousal benefits.

The fact that your husband took a reduced benefit won't affect your spousal benefit rate, but could limit your potential widow's benefits. Widow's benefits are based on the higher of a) the rate that deceased spouse was receiving, or b) 82.5% of the deceased spouse's full retirement age rate (PIA).

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to be sure that you choose the best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry