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Will My Wife Be Eligible For Spousal Benefits From My SSDI Instead Of Her Own Benefit At Her FRA?

I?m 54 years old and receive SSD, $2464. . My wife is 62 and wants to retire at age 63. If she starts drawing SSA at age 63, approximately $913, will she be eligible for spousal benefits for my SSDI instead of her PIA at her FRA as it will be more than her PIA? Or what is the best way to file for benefits?

Hi. Your wife could potentially qualify for spousal benefits if you're drawing Social Security disability (SSDI), but she can't file for her own benefits early and then switch to spousal benefits later. Since she was born after January 1 1954, whenever your wife applies for either spousal benefits or her own Social Security retirement benefits she'll be deemed to be filing for both benefits. What she'll then receive is essentially the higher of the 2 benefit rates, and her rate will be reduced for age if she starts drawing prior to her full retirement age (FRA).

If your wife's own age 63 rate would be $913, then her primary insurance amount (PIA) must be around $1200. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at FRA, or their full SSDI benefit rate. If 50% of your PIA is higher than your wife's PIA, then she'll likely qualify for a small excess spousal benefit in addition to her own benefit. The unreduced excess spousal benefit would be calculated by subtracting her own PIA from 50% of your PIA.

Your wife will have to decide for herself whether or not she thinks it's better to wait until FRA to start collecting benefits. Your wife should strongly consider using our software ( to fully analyze all of her options so that she'll have all of the information she needs to make the best possible decision on when to start her benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jun 16 2021 - 4:26pm
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