If I Reapply For Spousal Benefits WIll I Lose The Retroactive Benefits I've Been Paid?

Apr 13 2020 - 1:06pm

SS has denied my spousal benefits. I am 68, married 39 years to the same man. They informed me on the site I could re-apply. They have sent two letters with conflicting info regarding my benefit, the second less than the first. They have deposited a retro benefit which I fought for through phone calls to the national ss office, after being turned down for the retro at the local office. I am so weary of being jerked around by these people, I think that is their strategy. If I do as they say and I re-apply, will I lose the retro benes? I originally applied early December 2019. This is like a nightmare, like a snarl of ropes I'd rather toss than sort. Please help, this is driving me NUTS.


I'd be happy to try to advise you, but you haven't given me enough information to be able to do so. Why did Social Security disallow your claim for spousal benefits after apparently first approving it?

Is your husband receiving his benefits? You can't qualify for spousal benefits unless your spouse is receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Are you receiving benefits on your own account? You can't qualify for spousal benefits if you're drawing your own benefits and your primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than 50% of your spouse's PIA. Requirements for qualifying for spousal benefits are outlined in the following section of Social Security's handbook: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0305.html.

I can't imagine a scenario in which you'd be able to keep the back pay you've received if your claim has now been disallowed. If Social Security mistakenly approved your claim and have now determined that you never qualified for benefits, they'll be asking you to return any benefits they've paid you. The only way that I can imagine you'd be due back pay and not be eligible for ongoing benefits is if you were entitled to spousal benefits for a period of time but your entitlement has now terminated. An example of that would be if you initially filed a restricted claim for spousal benefits, but you subsequently became entitled to a higher benefit rate on your own record.

Best, Jerry