If I Switch To My Own Social Security Would I Be Allowed To Repay What I Collected Without Any Penalty?

Mar 24 2019 - 10:17am

I started receiving $433.00 on my ex husband's account when I turned 66. I turned 67 this month. Unfortunately, due to a very unexpected development, I am in need of a larger amount than I am getting for monthly expenses. I will be receiving a disbursement from an estate but that can take from 9 to 12 months to receive.
Question: If I switch over to collecting on my own Social Security now would I be allowed to repay what I collected o
my own SS as if I hadn't touched it? I really wanted it to earn the 8% per year until I reach 70. Would I forfeit my ex husband's Social Security payment even if I repaid mine?
I really appreciate your help.
Thank You

Hi,

If you file for your own Social Security retirement benefits and your benefit rate is higher than your divorced spousal rate, your divorced spousal benefits would be terminated effective with the first month of your entitlement to retirement benefits. You could potentially withdraw your claim for retirement benefits and repay the benefits you received, but you would have to do so within 12 months of your initial month of entitlement to the retirement benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html). You could then re-apply for divorced spousal benefits, but you could only claim those benefits retroactively for a maximum of 6 months.

Therefore, if you withdraw your retirement claim and re-apply for divorced spousal benefits more than 6 months after your initial month of entitlement to retirement benefits there could be a gap of some months for which you couldn't be paid any benefits. As long as you withdraw your retirement benefit application timely and repay any retirement benefits you've received, though, you could reapply for your retirement benefits at age 70 without any loss of delayed retirement credits.

Before you decide what to do, you may want to consider using our software to explore your options and determine your optimal strategy.

Best, Jerry