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Date Add : 03-30-2011 

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Social Security Question:

Spousal benefit question

Social Security Answer:

I am 64 years old and currently working. My wife is 63 and has been a homemaker for the past 36 years. She does not have the required 40 work units for her own SS benefits. We understand how she can draw 'off' my SS benefits. Here is the question:

If we both start receiving monetary benefits AND I decide to continue working next year what happens to HER benefits if I WITHDRAW my benefits application and re-pay what I have received from SS. I understand that I can withdraw and as long as I repay in a lump sum what I have been paid then I can wait until I'm 66 and draw a FULLY vested retirement amount. But, can she continue to draw a reduced benefit even though I have withdrawn and am no longer receiving monetary benefits.

I have read in Kiplinger's and also in AARP documents that I can apply for benefits now (realizing that I would have a reduced benefit) and she could apply also (realizing that her spousal benefit is also reduced because of me filing before age 66, which is my full retirement age. Kiplinger's and AARP BOTH say that she can continue to draw the reduced spousal benfit even though I have withdrawn and repaid my money back to SS.

The local SS office has given me 3 different answers. And, these are my 'counselors/advisors' ..... RIGHT !?!
THANKS,

Bill


Support Replied ~ 10-16-2009 17:37:04

Dear William:
If you and your wife file and get benefits for "x" amount of time and then you withdraw your claim, you must also withdraw her claim. Whatever happens to you, happens to her. If you continue to work, and your checks are held for earning over $14160.00, then hers will be withheld. I think that is what you are asking me.
If not, write back.....Carol

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"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from RetirementCommunity.com, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.


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Thank you so much. The amount of infomation you provided on our call went a long way in helping to resolve the issues I had with the social security rep I was working with.
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