Ask Larry

Can You Exceed The Family Maximum Benefit If You Are Receiving Delayed Retirement Credits?

Can you exceed the Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) if you are receiving Delayed Retirement Credits (DRC)?
My wife and disabled adult daughter will both be eligible for benefits based on my work record. My estimated monthly payment at my full retirement age of 67 is $2973 (PIA) and my FMB based on that is $5202. I understand that the family benefit is the FMB minus my PIA or $2229. So, if I start drawing at my FRA of 67, I would receive $2973 and my wife and daughter would each receive $1114.50 and the total would be the FMB; and if I choose to start drawing at age 62, I would receive $2072, and my wife and daughter would still each received $1114.50, so we would be below the FMB. However, if I were to wait until age 70 to start drawing, I would receive a monthly benefit of $3700, but would my wife and daughter still be eligible to receive $1114.50, which would be a family total of $5929 in excess of the FMB?


Yes. Even if a person receives a benefit rate higher than their primary insurance amount (PIA) due to delayed retirement credits (DRC), only the PIA is deducted from the family maximum benefit (FMB) when determining benefit rates for family members (

Best, Jerry

May 19 2018 - 10:42am
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