Ask Larry

Can My Wife And Daughter Switch Their Benefits To My Account When I Apply For My Benefits?

My 30 year old daughter is childhood disabled and initially claimed benefits on my wife's disability and now her retirement. Wife is 69. I'm 3 years younger than my wife (BD 1955) and will file at age 70.
Can my daughter & wife switch their benefits to me once I file assuming all three benefits are under the family maximum and what % of my benefit would they receive now and ultimately as survivors?

Hi. Your daughter's disabled adult DAC benefits could be switched to your record when you start drawing your benefits, but your wife can't switch from drawing retirement benefits to drawing spousal benefits. She could, however, file for an excess spousal benefit from your record when you apply. Your wife's excess spousal amount would be calculated by subtracting her primary insurance amount (PIA) from 50% of your PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA).

As long as your wife didn't collect reduced Social Security retirement benefits, then her own benefit plus her excess spousal benefit would add up to 50% of your PIA. Your daughter's DAC rate would also be equal to 50% of your PIA, although both your daughter's DAC payment and your wife's excess spousal payment amount could potentially be subject to reduction due to the family maximum benefit (FMB).

In the event of your death, your daughter's DAC rate would increase to 75% of your PIA, and your wife's combined retirement and survivor rate would add up to 100% of your full benefit rate. Survivor benefits are also potentially subject to reduction due to the family maximum benefit (FMB), though. Our software ( is programmed to handle all of the various calculations involved in a case like your family's, so you may want to strongly consider using the software fully analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing benefits.

Best, Jerry

Feb 5 2022 - 9:26am
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