Why Couldn't I Start My Benefits Sooner?

Jan 14 2017 - 4:45pm

My bday is April 29th and I retired Dec 2016. Social Security said I could not draw my Social Security until Feb 2017. How come I could not start my Social Security in January 2017 instead of having to wait till Feb 2017?
Thank you,

Hi Hilda,

You don't mention your age, but if you're between ages 62 & 66, then the Social Security earnings test might be the reason (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). Also, Social Security payments are issued in the month after the month for which they're due, so that may be part of the explanation as well.

If you are due to receive your first check in February 2017, that means your initial month of entitlement to benefits is January 2017. In order for you to actually receive a check in January, you'd have to be eligible for benefits beginning December 2016. And, if you earned more than $15,720 last year and more than $1,310 in December, the earnings test would prevent you from being paid for that month.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to explore your filing options.

Best, Jerry