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Filing For Benefits

Do Applications Have To Be Filed 3 Months In Advance?

Hi. My mother will turn 66 in March 2017. If she wants to apply for SS, does she need to do so three months before her actual birth date? If she does not do so, does she then have to wait until the following year?


No. Your mother could file her application anytime between now and the end of September 2017 and still be able to elect March 2017 as her month of entitlement. This is because applications filed after full retirement age can be retroactive for up to 6 months.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 11:45

How Should I Answer The Expected Monthly Earnings Question On My Application?

Dear Jerry,

Thank you so much for your quick and helpful response.

This does lead me to wonder about the purpose of Q 24 (b) on the Social Security Application. If I am making less than $16,290 next year do I need to answer it?

I understand 24 (a) "How much do you expect to earn next year?" For me, the answer is $14,000.

However, I expect to be paid $3500 in March, May, October and December

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 13:15

What Should I Choose For My Month Of Election To Start Benefits?

My husband turned 66 on 6/22/16 and I turned 66 on 7/13/16. I am going to file for my beneifts soon and my husband is going to file a restricted application for "spousal benefits only" and let his benefits grow until he is 70 years old. I'm confused as to what start date I should put on the application to start receiving benefits. Is it 7/1/16 or 8/1/16. If I put down 7/1/16, I don't want social security to say my husband can't file for spousal benefits because I wasn't 66 on 7/1/16.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 12:30

Can I File Online Just For a Spousal Benefit?

Dear Larry,

I am about reach age 66 and have filled out the application online to file online for spousal benefits, delaying my own until age 70. I have read Get What's Yours so I'm nervous about signing and completing the application for fear they will use some retroactive date. Should I say something in the remarks section about the date I want to start my benefits? Thanks, JR

Dear JR,

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 22:00

When Should I Submit My Application For Benefits?

I am 69 and plan on starting on Social Security when I turn 70 this December 2016. My wife is 61 and basically was a stay-at-home wife but did earn enough working to qualify for SS. My two questions are: What to I have to do to make sure that my payments begin when exactly when the SS system defines my turning 70 so I do not leave money on the table and 2) when should my wife begin to take her benefits?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 13:45

What Are Filing and Suspending and Filing a Restricted Application?

What is the difference between a restricted filing and file and suspend. What is a restricted filing? Thanks, John

John, restricting your application simply means filing for just one benefit when eligible for more than one, which is not the same as filing for your retirement benefit and then suspending it in order to earn delayed retirement credits of 8% per year applied monthly. Thanks, John

Friday, July 1, 2016 - 17:45

How Do I Choose Between Benefits?

Mr. Kotlikoff, I was married for more than 10 years, my ex-spouse passed away last year at age 64. I will be 63 this year. I have visited the social security office a few times to ask questions. I was given a printout last December showing the deceased ex-spouse benefit I would receive (shows how much it would go up each month until I turn 66). I would get from his benefit, more than double what I would receive on my own work record. I am thinking of retiring later this summer, 2016.

Monday, June 20, 2016 - 20:45
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