Were Spousal Benefits Eliminated In 2016?

Category: 
Jul 31 2020 - 5:50pm

When I went to the ssa office to apply for spousal benefits I was told that was eliminated in 2016, so I applied for benefits on my own record when I turned 66. Did the spousal benefit get eliminated or was I given bad info. My husband started benefits at his full retirement age of 66. I tried to get spousal benefit when I was 64

Hi,

Spousal benefits haven't been eliminated. What changed in 2016 is that people born after January 1 1954 can no longer file for spousal benefits without also being required to file for their own benefits at the same time. Even before 2016 and regardless of when a person was born, though, they couldn't claim spousal benefits prior to full retirement age (FRA) without also being required to file for their own benefits at the same time.

When you file for both your own benefits and spousal benefits, you can only be paid essentially the higher of the 2 benefit rates. And, if you start drawing prior to FRA your benefit rate is reduced for age.

Best, Jerry