My friend is 65 years of age and has been receiving SSDI benefits for seven years. His wife never worked and is now 64 years of age.If she applied for benefits under his Social Security, how would this work? Will she receive less if she files for spousal benefits now than if she waited until her full retirement age? At what point will he switch from SSDI to Social Security?
Your friend's SSDI (Social Security disability benefits) will automatically convert to regular Social Security benefits at his full retirement age (FRA) of 66. If his wife files for spousal benefits at her FRA or later she would be eligible for 50% of his full retirement age rate, or primary insurance amount (PIA). However, if she files for spousal benefits now her spousal rate would be reduced for age. The age reduction would amount to 25/36ths of 1% per month, or roughly 8.33% for each year that she files prior to her FRA. And, depending on your friend's SSDI benefit amount his wife's spousal rate could be limited to an even lower amount if she files before he reaches age 66 due to the special family maximum formula used in cases involving relatively low SSDI rates (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/COLA/dibfamilymax.html).
If your friend's wife is considering filing for spousal benefits before her FRA, she may first want to either check with Social Security or use our maximization software to check out her options.