Can I collect Social Security on my wife’s disability record?

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Q. My wife, 64, is disabled and has been receiving Social Security disability payments for a long time now. I am about to become 66 in October. I’m still working and plan to work until I’m 70. Can I file a Restricted Application for spousal benefits once I turn 66 on my wife’s monthly disability payment?
— Married

A. Your age is the key here.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 changed the popular Social Security claiming strategy known as the “Restricted Application.”

Under the Section 831 rules of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, when an individual files for benefits, they are deemed to file for both individual and spousal benefits, said Matt Mignon, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown.

“This means that anytime someone applies for multiple benefits, they simply receive whichever provides the biggest benefit,” he said.

But because you were at least 62 by Jan. 1, 2016, you can file for a Restricted Application once you reach Full Retirement Age. Filing a Restricted Application allows you to collect spousal benefits based on your wife’s record while continuing to delay your own retirement benefit until age 70, Mignon said.

The most important part of this strategy is that you can continue delaying your own benefit.

“Every year you delay, your ultimate benefit increases by 8 percent per year until age 70,” he said. “You can look at this as a government guaranteed 8 percent return – not bad!”

Just make sure that you correctly file for a Restricted Application and not your own benefit, Mignon said.

Social Security claiming strategies can be complicated and are very specific to you and your family’s situation, so make sure you consider all options carefully.

Email your questions to moc.p1558514958leHye1558514958noMJN1558514958@ksA1558514958.

This story was originally published on May 9, 2019.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.