Do I Need To Worry About Restricting The Scope Of My Application?

Nov 30 2016 - 11:00am

Hi Jerry,
I submitted a question yesterday about the possibility that I might have a problem switching from widow's benefits to my own benefits, because I had not restricted the scope of my application when I applied for widow's benefits. You answered that if I was not within 4 months of age 62 when I filed my application for widow's benefits, then I am OK. I filed for widow's benefits on November 8, 2010. My benefits started on January 1, 2011, and I received first payment in February, 2011. My 62nd birthday was April 11, 2011. So my birthday was 5 months after my application date. The only document that I have is called "Application Summary for Widow's or Widower's Insurance Benefits". So I assume that there must be some other longer application form, for which what I have is a summary? If that's true, I can't tell how that question was answered on the longer form, or whether the question existed. But my application date was 5 months before I turned age 62, so I must be OK. Right? Or do I need to try to obtain the longer form, if it still exists? Please confirm. And thanks very much for your answer. I have been worrying about this for years.

Hi KC,

Since your application for widow's benefits was filed more than 4 months prior to your first possible month of entitlement to retirement benefits, it could not be considered as an application for retirement benefits, and restricting the scope of the application was not necessary. You don't need to do anything further other than filing for your retirement benefits, which you will probably want to wait until age 70 to do if possible.

Best, Jerry