Connect with us

Social Security Q&A: Is a Benefit ‘Do-Over’ Still an Option for Me?


Social Security Q&A: Is a Benefit ‘Do-Over’ Still an Option for Me?

Social Security Q&A: Is a Benefit ‘Do-Over’ Still an Option for Me?
Photo by Volodymyr Baleha /

Welcome to the Social Security Q&A. You ask a Social Security question, our expert provides the answer.

You can learn how to ask a question of your own below. And if you would like a personalized report detailing your optimal Social Security claiming strategy, click here. Check it out: It could result in receiving thousands of dollars more in benefits over your lifetime!

Today’s question comes from Kimmy:

“I was born in 1953. I received my first Social Security payment in March 2019 for $1,118. My husband was born in 1954. He also claimed his Social Security benefits in February 2019, when he turned 65. His benefit is $2,472. Had he waited until his full retirement age to claim his benefit, he would have received $2,650.

Can I stop taking my own benefits and get a spousal benefit on his record?”

A ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity

Kimmy, there are a couple of important issues here.

First, you are entitled to receive a spousal supplement that would top off your own retirement benefit. The supplement would bring your total benefit up to half of his full retirement age (FRA) benefit, or $1,325 (assuming you claimed at your FRA).

So, you should already be receiving an additional $207, increasing your $1,118 to $1,325. If you do nothing else, you should contact the Social Security Administration and request your spousal supplement. You can get a retroactive payment to cover the months that you missed the supplement. At a minimum, you can get a retroactive payment for up to six months.

Second, you do have another option: You can request a “do-over,” since you claimed within the past 12 months. You will need SSA Form 521, “Request for Withdrawal of Application,” for this request.

Keep in mind that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Since you were born prior to 1954, you can claim a spousal benefit while letting your own benefit grow up to age 70.

If you follow this approach, there is a downside: You would need to pay back the benefits you have received so far. Then, you can claim spousal benefits only, requesting a retroactive payment for up to six months, or whenever you reached your FRA.

Under this option, you would receive $1,325 a month until you turn 70, and then you would switch to your own benefit. Due to delayed retirement credits, your own benefit will have grown by 32%, or to $1,476 from $1,118.

Kimmy, your situation provides a good example of why those getting ready to claim Social Security benefits should seek some professional guidance. The Social Security rules can be confusing, so a little inexpensive help can go a long way toward helping you make the best decision for you and your husband.

Got a question you’d like answered?

You can ask a question simply by hitting “reply” to our email newsletter, just as you would with any email in your inbox. If you’re not subscribed, fix that right now by clicking here. It’s free, only takes a few seconds, and will get you valuable information every day!

The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that will interest other readers. So, it’s better not to ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you.

About me

I hold a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and taught economics at the University of Delaware for many years. I now do the same at Gallaudet University.

In 2009, I co-founded, an internet company that provides advice on Social Security claiming decisions. You can learn more about that by clicking here.

Got any words of wisdom you can offer on today’s question? Share your knowledge and experiences on our Facebook page. And if you find this information useful, please share it!

Disclaimer: We strive to provide accurate information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that we are not offering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services, and that the SSA alone makes all final determinations on your eligibility for benefits and the benefit amounts. Our advice on claiming strategies does not comprise a comprehensive financial plan. You should consult with your financial adviser regarding your individual situation.

Learn everything you need to plan your dream retirement

The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need gives you the knowledge you need to retire on your own terms. Sure, you can pay a financial adviser, but this online course gives you total control to create a custom retirement plan around the things that make you happy.

You’re going to get expert, personalized advice. You’ll have access to the latest tools. And when it’s complete, you’ll be able to approach your retirement confidently and with peace of mind.

It’s time to plan the best years of your life. Let’s get started.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Savings

To Top