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The following information explains two provisions when an individual is entitled to their own retirement benefit and is entitled to additional benefits as a spouse.
1. An individual is filing for both their own retirement benefit and benefits on their spouse`s record concurrently.
One of the provisions of the Social Security Act provides that whenever an individual files for reduced retirement or spouse`s benefits, that individual is deemed to have filed for the other benefit as well. Essentially, this means that if an individual is eligible for both retirement and spouse`s benefits in the initial month of entitlement, then he/she must legally be entitled to both benefits. An individual cannot restrict an application in order to avoid the deemed filing provisions of the law.
2. An individual is filing for their own retirement benefit but is not eligible to file for spouse`s benefits on their husband/wife`s record until they become entitled.
An individual can elect to receive their own retirement benefit as early as age 62, but their benefit will be permanently reduced for each month before the full retirement age. If the individual is due additional benefits as a spouse, as soon as the husband/wife on whose record they are eligible starts receiving Social Security benefits, then the spouse`s benefits are payable. If payment of spouse benefits occurs before full retirement age, the benefit is reduced each month between the entitlement date to spouse`s benefits and their full retirement age.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified elder lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local elder attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.