Which Of These Scenarios Is Correct?

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Dec 18 2018 - 12:15pm

I PLAN TO RETIRE IN NOVEMBER 2019.MY FRA IS 2774 WHILE MY EARLY AMOUNT IS 1978.MY 28YEAR OLD DAUGHTER HAS BEEN DISABLED SINCE BIRTH AND COLLECTS 771 ON SSI.MY 56 YEAR OLD WIFE STAYS AT HOME AND HAS NOT WORKED IN YEARS.MY QUESTION IS WOULD MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER EACH GET HALF OF MY FRA AMOUNT 1387 EACH AND I GET 1978 FOR A TOTAL OF 4752 OR IF I FIGURE MY FRA AMOUNT TIMES 175 WHICH IS 4855 MINUS 2774 WHICH EQUALS 2081,DIVIDED BY 2 GIVES 1040 EACH FOR A HOUSEHOLD TOTAL OF 4059.WHICH IS CORRECT??? ALSO I HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO VISIT A FEW SS LOCATIONS IN MY CITY TO GET THE BEST DEAL BECAUSE SS RULES CAN BE CONFUSING …

Hi,

Of the two calculation methods you describe, the latter is correct. Even if you file early for reduced benefits, your full retirement age rate (or primary insurance amount/PIA) is the amount that's subtracted from the family maximum benefit (FMB) when determining the benefit rates payable to your eligible family members.

So, if your PIA is $2774 and your FMB is $4854, the amount leftover for eligible family members is $2080. That means that if your wife and child both qualify for benefits on your record, they would split that amount (i.e. $1040 each) as opposed to receive a full 50% of your PIA. And, since that amount is higher than your daughter's SSI payment rate, her SSI payments would stop when she starts receiving disabled adult child's benefits on your record.

There's no real reason you'd need to contact more than one Social Security office, since the same rules apply throughout the United States. If you get different answers in different offices, it means that someone is mistaken. Before deciding when to file for your benefits, you should strongly consider using our software to explore and compare your various options so that you can make the best possible choice for your family.

Best, Jerry