Do We Need To File An Appeal To Receive The DRC Increase That My Husband Is Due For 2018?

Jan 3 2019 - 5:32pm

My husband FRA was June 2017. He started benefits with first payment in July 2018. We were told final delayed retirement credits would be paid January 2019. Current statement of Jan 2019 benefits only include the cola adjustment and do not include any due DRC. He called to inquire and was not told anything about due DRCs. Do we need to file an appeal to receive the DRC of the 4% not credited in Jan 2019? To complicate it further we want to suspend current payments for this year asap as we will have plenty of taxable income from other sources and would like to delay at least an additional year.


No, you don't need to file an appeal. First of all, delayed retirement credits (DRC) earned in 2018 are first creditable effective with benefits payable for the month of January 2019. Social Security benefits are paid a month behind, so the benefit payment your husband receives in January 2019 is for the month of December 2018. The first month that he would be due an increase for his 2018 DRCs would be his payment for January 2019 that's due to be paid in February 2019.

However, when people file for benefits between full retirement age (FRA) and age 70 and effective with any month other than January, Social Security uses an automated recomputation process to credit any partial year DRCs earned in the year of filing. My understanding is that the automated recomputations are only done every other year, so it's possible that your husband won't actually receive any increase for his 2018 DRCs until sometime during the year 2020. Whenever Social Security does get around to doing the 2018 recomputations, though, they'll pay any back pay due retroactive to the benefit payments for January 2019 and following.

Best, Jerry