Ask Larry

May I Keep You Posted?

Hi Larry,

Just earlier this week you were nice enough to quickly respond to my following question: Is Social Security just forgetting the January 2, 1954 rule for spousal benefits??!

I wanted to give you an update that we escalated to a supervisor who advised us that affective in 2018 the Social Security administration is allowing this claiming strategy for anyone reaching full retirement age in 2020, regardless of birthday. He went on to explain that we would not find it online but internally, the system is set up to support this change. We requested some form of documentation and are still waiting for it. They assured us it would be spelled out in my mother’s award letter. If the award ends up being for her own benefit (i.e., everyone we’ve spoken to is wrong), she can submit a withdrawal request to stop benefits and avoid an impact to her delayed credits. May I keep you posted? They are so convincing even after giving them the reference you sent that I’m starting to wonder if there is something the American public just doesn’t know!


Yes, I'd appreciate hearing how your mother's case turns out. I find what you were told to be very hard to believe, though, since the deemed filing regulation was passed into law by Congress in 2015. Only Congress has the authority to amend that regulation, not the Social Security Administration, and I'm not aware of any subsequent congressional action in that regard.

In any case, in addition to the Social Security operations manual section I mentioned in my response to your original question (, the only information posted to Social Security's website still confirms that anyone born after January 1 1954 is deemed to be filing for both Social Security retirement and spousal benefits whenever they file for either benefit. Refer to the following articles currently posted on their website: &

Best, Jerry

Oct 20 2020 - 3:22pm
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