How Long Do We Have To Wait To Apply For Spousal Benefits?

Oct 9 2019 - 12:21pm

My husband turned 66 last July and I (his wife) turned 66 last June. We want to take advantage of the restricted application. Once one of us applies for their full retirement benefits, how long do we have to wait until the other spouse applies for their spousal benefit? Do we have to wait until one of us is actually receiving their full retirement benefits? Or can we apply for full and spousal benefits at the same time online?
Thank you.


You and your husband could potentially file your applications on the same day, either online or by phone or in person. However, whichever one of you files the restricted application for spousal benefits cannot claim those benefits effective with any month prior to the later of a) the month they reach full retirement age (FRA) or b) the month the other spouse chooses to start their benefits.

For example, if your husband files for his benefits effective with July 2019, you couldn't claim spousal benefits effective with any month prior to July 2019 even if you reached FRA before then.

It sounds like you and your husband should strongly consider using our software ( to fully explore and compare all of your various options so that you can choose the best possible strategy for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry