How And Where Can My Wife Apply For Social Security Benefits And Keep Her RR Retirement?

Aug 1 2019 - 10:46am

I receive Railroad retirement disability pension and my wife is getting RR Retirement. She will be 66 in January 2020. She can get $2060.00 in SS. She currently receives about $1200.00 monthly from RRR as my spouse. HOW and where do you apply for the SS benefit and keep her part of RR Retirement? With SS or the RRRB? I can find answers in various websites about getting both but none on how to do it or where?
Thanks in advance,
Daniel

Hi Daniel,

Your wife would need to apply for her Social Security (SS) benefits either by phone or in person at a Social Security office, or online at their website: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/. Social Security has an office locater she could use if she wants to visit an office: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

Your wife can't get her full Social Security benefit and her full Railroad (RR) spousal benefit, though. Once she applies for her Social Security benefits, your wife's Tier 1 RR benefits will be offset dollar for dollar by her SS benefits. Since her SS benefit rate is apparently higher than her RR spousal amount, that means that her Tier 1 RR benefits will stop once she starts drawing SS. The only way that your wife will continue to receive any RR benefits in addition to her SS benefits is if any of her RR benefits are Tier 2 benefits. Those benefits are not affected by SS benefits.

If your wife isn't yet age 70, she may want to delay filing for her SS benefits until then. Age 70 is when her Social Security benefit rate would reach it's maximum rate. Your wife may want to consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to explore and compare her SS options, although the software does not handle RR benefits.

Best, Jerry