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When Should My Husband Apply In Order To Make Sure He Receives The Last Year's 8% Increase?

My husband turns 70 in a few months. He has been collecting half of my benefit while his benefit increases 8% each year until age 70. When does the 8% increase amount reflect on his personal benefit each year? When should he apply in order to be sure that he receives the last year's 8% increase? A few months before his birthday or after? With social security offices closed for covid, and website doesn't have option to file for personal benefit if already receiving a benefit, and can't get answer by calling Social Security since they don't answer the phone, what else can we try???

Hi. Your husband would be credited with his maximum amount of delayed retirement credits (DRC) as long as he claims his Social Security retirement benefits effective with the month he reaches age 70. Unless your husband was born on the first day of a month, that would be the month in which his 70th birthday occurs. If your husband was born on the first day of a month, Social Security would count him as reaching age 70 in the month prior to his birthday. For example, a person born July 1 1951 would be considered by Social Security law to have reached age 70 in June 2021, and such a person would want to claim their Social Security retirement benefits no later than effective June 2021.

Social Security allows people to apply for benefits up to 4 months prior to the month that they want to start their benefits. So, if your husband reaches age 70 in July 2021 for example, he could apply as early as March 2021. He wouldn't need to apply that soon, though. In fact, a person reaching age 70 in July 2021 could apply as late as January 31 2022 and still be able to claim their benefits effective with July 2021 (i.e. 6 months retroactively).

The wording on Social Security's website indicates that a person can apply for benefits online if they aren't already receiving benefits on their own record. So, I don't know if the fact that your husband is collecting spousal benefits would prevent him from filing online at ( If he isn't able to file online and for as long as Social Security offices are closed to the public, your husband's only other option would be to call Social Security at 800-772-1213 and wait on hold for as long as it takes to speak to an employee.

Best, Jerry

Feb 22 2021 - 3:20pm
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