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Filing after restricted application

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You are one of the lucky folks who was born before 1954 and you filed a restricted application for Social Security spousal benefits. This allowed for your own Social Security benefit to be delayed, accruing the delayed retirement credits (DRCs). So now you’re about to turn 70 – what should you do now? Will your own Social Security benefit be automatically applied once you hit 70?

Unfortunately, no. You will need to go through the regular Social Security application process. This is the only way to get your own Social Security benefit to start up for you now that it has maximized.

You should not delay past age 70 in filing this application. There is no further increase to your Social Security benefits after you’ve reached 70, so waiting will only leave money behind that you are due at this point. Generally you should file this application within the 2-3 month period prior to your 70th birthday.

If for some reason you missed filing for your own Social Security retirement benefit at age 70, you should file as soon as possible. If it’s been less than 6 months since your 70th birthday, you can get a retroactive lump sum for the missed months. Unfortunately, if it’s been more than 6 months, you’ll have lost any additional months (beyond 6) that you should have received.

6 Comments

  1. Johnny Roland says:

    Jim,

    I always appreciate the ‘nuts and bolts’ answers you provide about Social Security. I have several financial planning clients that I need to forward your blog post!

    Thanks,
    Johnny Roland

    1. jblankenship says:

      Glad to hear they’re helpful to you and your clients!

      Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have other topics of interest to be covered…

  2. John Lacek says:

    Jim,
    Thanks for the post. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones.
    I understand your post in that I should file for my own benefit 2-3 months prior to me turning 70.
    My question is: What would be a good time for my wife to file for Spousal Benefits. Currently, she is receiving her own SS Benefit which she started at FRA. When I reached FRA 8 months later, I file for Spousal Benefit. Knowing only one of us can be drawing Spousal Bebefits at a given time, I am not sure what would be the best time for her to file for Spousal Bebfit. Would it be at the same time I file for my bebefit, 2-3 months before I reach 70? Or should it be the month I turn 70? Or is there a better time?
    Thanks for you insight.
    John

    1. jblankenship says:

      She would file at any time after you’ve filed – your filing needs to be in place for her to be able to get spousal benefits. So anytime 2-3 months before your age 70 but after you’ve filed, she should be able to file for spousal benefits.

  3. Bob says:

    This wasn’t my experience. I filed and suspended at 66. As I approached 70 I called SS to ask if my benefit would start automatically when I turned 70. They said yes and it did.

    1. jblankenship says:

      File and suspend is not the same as restricted application. If you’ve filed and suspended, your suspended application will automatically start up at age 70, as you’ve been told. I’d still check on it with SSA though, just to make sure it happens.

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