2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

3 elderly people siting on a stoopEvery worker’s dream is to enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow. Part of that commitment is ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when you make your retirement decisions.

As the bells ring in the New Year, they also bring changes for new Social Security retirement beneficiaries. Full retirement age is 66 and two months for people born 01/02/1955 through 01/01/1956.  They are eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when they turn 62 in 2017.

Full retirement age is the age at which a person first becomes entitled to full (unreduced) retirement benefits.  It had been 65 for many years.  However, beginning with people born in 1938 that age has been gradually increasing until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 and later.

As the full retirement age continues to increase, there are greater reductions in benefits if you claim them before you reach full retirement age.  For example, if you apply for benefits in 2017 at age 62, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced nearly 26 percent.

You can find your full retirement age, along with other important information, on our website.

Some things you must remember when you’re thinking about retirement:

  1. You may start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be.
  2. Your monthly benefits are reduced permanently if you start them any time before full retirement age.
  3. If you die, your retirement date can affect the payment to your surviving widow or widower.  If you started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, we cannot pay your surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount.  We base their benefit on the amount of your reduced benefits.
  4. If you elect to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, you should understand how continuing to work  affects your benefits.

You can learn more by reading our publication, When to Start Receiving Benefits or visiting our Retirement Planner.

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203 thoughts on “2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

    • My husband is 66 and began receiving his SS in Dec 2016. I will be 66 3-3-18, can I receive 50 % of his SS now and in the future even tho I start getting my SS?

    • I was born 1952, I will be 65 in Sept. 2017. In 1982 I was injured and totally disabled. I am drawing disability through social security. My husband passed away in 2000. He had not retired..was working when he got sick. They put him on emergency disability but he died before he was able to get the medicaid or medicare. I started drawing off of my husbands social security at age 50. I don’t think I am drawing all but am not really sure about anything. I was wondering if I will need to be 66 before I am changed over to social security with full benefits. and if I will gain in what I draw or something taken away from me. I am still disabled and will be for life. Can you give me some insight on my situation?

  1. I am 70, but I started drawing social security before my retirement age, due to disability. Would my disability benefits count against my survivor benefits. I did not elect receiving benefits (disability) I was forced to do it???

    • Natour,

      Getting disability is practically the same as if you had filed for retirement at age 66. It is basically an unreduced benefit.
      For people who file for retirement and disability at the same time – the retirement portion of the application would process first and payment would begin at a reduced rate based on the age of the applicant. If the disability were eventually allowed – the benefit would be adjusted to reflect payment for disability. The adjustment would go into effect after the date of onset and the 5 or 6 month waiting period for disability benefits.

      • If disability did not start until AFTER retirement benefits were paid, there would be a permanent reduction applied to the disability for the months retirement was paid first. You only avoid an age reduction if the disability precedes or coincides with the start of retirement benefits. This is why you contact SSA and not rely on friends and family who may only have part of the picture.

  2. If you were born in 1950, your full retirement age is 66.
    That is the same year my husband was born and he is now at full retirement age and collecting.

  3. they fix it to were your so old and in bad shape most people want live long enough to drawl much of it but that’s what they hoping for

    • If you were to work at being more healthy like my 68 year old wife and me at 74 yeas in great condition. The whole system is set up based on the probabilities of life span in the actuarity tables.

      • But if you saved and invested all your life as we have gov makes you take min distribute the taxes you 34%
        or as it has for us is SS just covers our income tax. and now gov talking about you being means tested. So if your smart get on welfare

  4. I was born January 2, 1955 and my full retirement is age 66 and 2 months and I am currently employed full time. My question is this: my husband passed away January 22, 2016 will this change my full retirement pay?

      • As a widow you can start collecting at the age of 50, but that will be reduced because it’s not at your full retirement age.

        • You can only collect Survivor Benefits at 50 IF you’re disabled. I became widowed at 47 and had to wait until my 60th birthday, because I’m not disabled. If you remarry before age 60, you’re not eligible, but if you remarry after 60 years of age and you’re collecting, you will have no reduction to your benefit.

  5. I am 70 1/2 and receive the maximum retirement amount. My wife is 59 . Should I die tomorrow will my wife receive my benefit being she is 59? Thanks

  6. My husband passed in 2014 and was receiving his social security. I was receiving mine also. I went to Social Security to see if I could still draw any of his social security since I was left with a lot of unpaid bills and was told no. They said because I drew a little more than him I would not be eligible..it didn’t matter how many bills I had to pay. Is this correct or is there any way out of this?

      • From my readings my understanding is that you re ceive the higher of the two amts not both. Since yours was higher, that is the amt you get. If his had been higher, then they would have switched you to his. SS was never meant to cover your full retirement, that is why people are encouraged to save for retirement.

        • It means that when your spouse dies, and you both were collecting SS, then you will only receive the higher amount of the two. If the husband’s SS was $1500 and the wife’s was $1000, she will then be collecting ONLY his $1500. Not both.

          • So it is preferable for the higher earning spouse to die first. That would be me so I am screwed.

    • You take the highest, so yours was more than his. We all have bills, so why should you get two checks from social security?

  7. The title of the article says “2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age”, but I don’t see anything in the article that is new.

    What specifically has changed?

  8. If I collect 1/2 of my ex-husband’s SS which is much higher than mine because I was a homemaker, and then get married, will I still be able to collect on his or will I then need to revert to my much lower SS.

  9. I was born January 6 1941. II waited until my full retirement age of 65 and 8 months before receiving SS, I was told if I waited till then I could earn as much as I wanted and not be penalized. 2015 I sold two properties and paid capital gains plus my adjusted gross income was increased and my ss was reduced by 300.00.

    • healthcare and medicare costs , and your requested deductions from your benefit are the only things that should change your ssa amount. unless you owe someone.

  10. My spouse is retired civil service, he is set to draw $1,200 at 66 social security but I heard that he can only draw $200 because he is retired Civil SErvice. He is age 65 now? So confused, how does that work

  11. Given the current comments by politicians regarding curbing social security benefits –
    Are there still ice flows available for seniors?

  12. I started collecting Soc security benefits at 65 in April of last year I had a severance from my last job but it was not earned income but was pd in January 2016 when my last day was 12/31/2015 can we disregard it for reduced Soc Sec benefits
    Also is unemployment counted as income
    I did get a job in October 2016 and have been earning income so I know that will reduce my benefits
    Can I stop receiving Soc sec until I stop working or until I am 66 in September 2017?

    • My husband’s unemployment was not taxed and that is because we ELECTED for them to not take taxes out. Unemployment income is considered income and is reported to the IRS. You will pay taxes on it to the Feds when your accountant figures out your taxes. When you applied for Unempl. benefits, it specifically asked you if you wanted them to deduct taxes. Also, you cannot suspend your SS once you started to receive it. It would be nice if you could – wouldn’t we all have done that? About 7 yrs. ago you actually could stop and pay back all the SS benefits you rec’d. That has long since ceased. You can’t turn back the clock.

  13. My husband who was in US pension has passed away 3 years ago and I was too young to receive his pension, as of Janusry 1, 2017 I am now 67 am I able to apply for,his pension? Does it matter if I am still working 4 days per week? Thank you.

  14. The government not keeping the promise. when i started working the full retirement age was 65 and i plan accordingly. i want my social security and medicare taxes back with 12 percent interest from i started paying social security taxes. i do not want any retirement benefit from government.

  15. Your statement ” 3.If you die, your retirement date can affect the payment to your surviving widow or widower. If you started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, we cannot pay your surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount. We base their benefit on the amount of your reduced benefits.” Is this statement based on the surviving spouse drawing on the benefits of the deceased? My spouse hasn’t worked enough quarters to receive benefits on her own. I believe she can receive benefits and half my rate on my account. is that correct? If I pass before her does that rate go up to the benefit I was receiving at time of death?

  16. I started recieving S.S. in Dec. 2016 i will turn 62 in June of this year..Am i eligible for full or reduced benefits when i turn 62 years old ???

    • if SS means social security, then it must be disability. Your benefit will not change because you are at your full benefit level already. you don’t get both

  17. I am still working and is planning to continue to work until I am 70. I was drawing Disability but now they are saying since I am 66 (was born 11/04/1950) I am drawing full retirement. But if I keep working will my benefits go up because of still putting in for Social Security taxes which I pay 2 weeks?

  18. This all smells all wrong, you can not change the rules in the middle of the game to suit you. We all play by the same rules so let’s make some up. The cost to live on. How much does it take a man and women to live on when they both are retired 65 or ,66, let’s not get into months unless it’s 6 months, OK ! So it will be 66 and 6 months. Good number right. OK now no one who has over 900,000.00 dollars, that’s nine hundred thousand dollars in the bank will not be in the SS ring of rings . 2200.00 apiece for men and 2500.00 a month for women.. they need a little more.

  19. I AM 63 AND WILL BE 64 ON 7-8-2017 AND SSDI SAID THAT I WOULD GET MY FULL BENEFITS IN THE YEAR OF 2018 AND WHEN DO I GET MY MEDICARE, THEY ALSO SAID 1-2018, CAN YOU TELL ME IF THIS IS CORRECT. THANK YOU,

  20. born 03/23/37. I stated investing same amount as was with held from pay checks (starting in 1953 DRIP’S) I now get more in dividends Then S.S. pays, should have bought more muni’s, results now Gov. Takes a lot in taxes plus I have to pay income tax on my S.S.

  21. the dirty politicians robbed 2.6 trillion from the fund do you think its going to get paid back we should take it from there fund fair is fair

  22. Eventhough I paid $120K in taxes everybody felt i am burden on government and family. i am collecting disability. i am hearing the voices and it is toucher to me. i feel that instead of i paid ssi if government kept money in seperate account like 401 k and private disability insurance then nobody would have problem or jealous on me. i try to comitt sucide 5 times because of it. one family save me. i donot have any thoughts to harm anybody. i would have atleast $300k in my account plus i would have got more in disability benefit and health benefit. i would have never worry about loosing my benefits.

  23. I have been divorced twice, each marriage was over 10 years long. One, 23 years long. I am now single and plan on remaining so. When I am of qualifying retirement age, could I claim SS retirement benefits from either or both of my former spouses and if only one, which one…? Or does it matter, and is it contingent on when he/they apply to receive their SS retirement benefits?

  24. what money social security paid me for disability would have been cost me only $2 month in private company and i would have got more money and i paid $120k in ssi and medicare taxes. i never worry about loosing a benefit, family and listening to people jealous on me for taking a disability benefits. i would have better insurance plus money in my retirement account as well as disability money.

  25. If you didn’t work during your lifetime chances are you’ll get more in SSI than most people that have worked 35 years or more. Sad, but so true.

    • The average retirement benefit paid is $1,180.80, while SSI pays only a maximum of $735.00. In addition, SSI payments are reduced for any other income received, even gifts, while Social Security retirement benefits are not, unless you are working, under the full retirement age, and have annual earnings that exceed $16,920 this year. Also, Social Security retirement benefits can also provide benefits for auxiliary family members and eligible survivors, while SSI provides no family or survivor entitlement.

  26. It’s all bull. I’m 66 & have to wait until the middle of the month for payment yet people collecting SSI who have never put a dime in get a check on the 1st plus food stamps etc. young people with bogus diagnosis of ailments. Speech defects, anger problems, & more nonsense. Drawing on the system. It’s easy to give away other peoples money and interest earned .

    • Sure you were told you benefit would be paid, on or near your birthday. If you know of someone involved in fraudulent activity, why do you not do you civil duty and, file a complaint with the SS office, or the US attorney.?

  27. OASI has a problem with bothy supply and demand in that they seem to force people over the age of 70 to receive maximum benefits although they continue to have high incomes they do not even pay OASDI taxes on and pay very little to nothing for the poor whose demand for an adequate standard of living is not insured until age 65 when they become eligible for SSI and Medicaid. Paying too much to rich people, who evade taxation by OASDI on all their income, before they actually retire or need more money to pay the bills, at age 70, is tantamount to robbing the poor who receive OASI benefits less than SSI $733 (2016). Maybe $733 (2016) should be the minimum OASDI benefit for the working rich at age 70 and the poor.

    People get drafted President at age 70 because Baby boomers are so unaccountable for child welfare, civilly, economically and politically due to tyranny of the majority and national delinquency under the Slavery Convention of 1926, with whom WWII is better than Vietnam for attempting to evade and defeat the taxes of a civilian, but Baby Boomer plagiarized generation x that threatens to take away your boom boom. Baby Boomer just can’t count higher than me, a poorer rich man than Donald Trump’s two skyscrapers filled with computer processors equals the computing capacity of the human brain (except Baby Boomers who drop pennies from the top of the building). I, a generation x disinherited homeless person, on the other hand was plagiarized for two skyscrapers and find them to be stupider than a properly used computer that I agree is much less powerful processor than the human mind traditionally expressed in writing that the computer is really good at processing. The Internet might be safer than the library these days.

    Rich people begin paying for the Medicare Ponzi scheme at age 65. Maybe they and other rich people should continue to pay after Medicare is abolished for the extortionate premiums of 2016 and 2017 and social security beneficiary health is insured for free by Medicaid, but if there is one thing the government could do to spare rich old people it is to stop robbing them with health insurance premium inflation and treat them with Medicaid like everyone who was ever ripped off by the 2.9% HI tax. Out-of-pocket medical expenses drive elder poverty up from 9% to 16%. Men who retire tend to sit on the couch until they die without someone to pay them to work = force x distance. Women, maybe because they are better cooks, and maybe because their old bones tolerate body fat and disability better than men, do much better in retirement and many retire early and spend half their life on social security, like me, a male disability beneficiary, whose ten year survival was dependent on passing the Marine Corp physical fitness test (PFT) 50-100 crunches, push-ups and 3 mile run everyday to keep Hospitals & Asylums two hundred and five year history away.

    Please use your Baby Boomer seniority in the computer age to end to the war of attrition regarding an annual 3% COLA and 3% raise in federal minimum being needed to compete with 2.7% average annual inflation by passing the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016-17 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss2017.htm

  28. Disability insurance benefits are paid as though the beneficiary attained full retirement age when he or she started receiving disability benefits. This benefit amount should not change over time except for cost-of-living increases, and it should not change when the benefit is automatically converted to a retirement benefit when the beneficiary attains full retirement age. If your benefits were actually reduced when your benefits were converted to retirement benefits, you should contact Social Security for an explanation.

  29. I see many comments here that seem critical of Social Security for merely carrying out the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. If you think something about the program is unfair, such as the requirement that Social Security can only pay someone the higher of two benefits, you shouldn’t waste this resource on those complaints but send them to the responsible entity, Congress.

  30. It is amazing to me how ignorant most people are about their social security benefits in even the most basic form. This is precisely why Congress is eyeing reducing “aka modernizing” benefits for everyone to solve the funding problem. The vast majority of taxpayers are clueless. Get with it people—educate yourselves about Social Security before it is too late.

  31. The article title is -2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age. I did not read every word, but what are the changes being made in 2017?

  32. Most of the responses do not indicate if the comment is from SSA officially or an individual. If the SSA person would identify himself as such, I would have more confidence in the comment

    • Hi Judith, we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal. Our blog — Social Security Matters — gives readers information about a variety of topics, including our programs, online services, current events, and human-interest stories, usually in greater detail than typically shared on our other social media platforms. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

  33. I AGREE, WHY WOULD YOU WANT AN ANSWER THAT IS NOT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN!!!!!! ISN’T THAT THE REASON WE ARE ON THIS SITE FOR ANSWERS??? WASTE OUR TIME!!!
    BUT THANKS TO THOSE WHO FELT IT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO TRY TO HELP THOSE WITH QUESTIONS, YOUR APPRECIATED

  34. I was born Jan. 3, 1947 and retired at age 66 and started collecting my social security benefits. I started working again in 2015 and have continued to do so. I had my taxes done by H&R Block this year due to my employer having me enroll in a HSA of $200, which I now understand has a new form. I was also penalized on my Social Security for making $19,455 in earnings. It was my understanding at my retirement age of 66 I could make as much as I wanted and not be penalized on my social security. I still pay into my social security which I know is required.why would 10% of my social security be taxable income.

  35. My husband is retired, 68, and collecting SS from age 65. I am 60, still working and just looked at the chart on benefits upon my retirement. Did I read it right?? It says that I, as a spouse, will have my SS reduced to 35.4%???? OR do I look at the wage earner col where it says I can collect 75.8% if I retire at 62 and 6 months??

    • Hi Karla. If you were born in 1957, at 62 + 6 months, the reductions are: 75.8% for the wage earner and 35.4% for the spouse. This chart lists age 62 reduction amounts and includes examples based on an estimated monthly benefit of $1000 at full retirement age. Click on your year of birth to find out how much your benefit will be reduced if you retire between age 62 and full retirement age. We hope this helps.

  36. How is it that – despite drawing social security retirement early since age 62 – that now in Jan 2017, my Social Security account online shows “you are not currently receiving benefits” ? What caused this?
    Naturally, the offices are closed.

    • We are sorry you are having issues with your account. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions to read information on why you may be having trouble accessing your account. Also, we have established a dedicated MySocialSecurity Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and select the prompt “For help with registering or using the MySocialSecurity website”. The help desk will be available to callers between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. (Eastern Time). You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  37. Instead of automatically converting from SSDI to retirement benefits at FRA, can the beneficiary suspend retirement benefits to age 70 and then get a greater monthly amount at the later age? (I asked this question in March 2016 but did not get an answer!)

    • We are sorry if we missed your question before. Please keep in mind that your disability payments are established at the highest rate possible. You may be eligible to switch from disability to retirement benefits, the rules can be complicated and you will need to speak to one of our representatives at your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you.

      • At Full Retirement Age, disability benefits end automatically and retirement benefits are paid instead. The switch is not an option, but a requirement. What I want to know is if, at that point, a former SSDI recipient can ask for suspension of benefits to age 70 and resume retirement benefits at a higher monthly amount at age 70.

        • Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. We recommend that you speak with one of our representatives directly. Call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  38. I will born April 27, 1951, and will be full retirement age of 66 this April 27. For SS purposes, do I reach full retirement on April 1, 2017, or not until April 27. Should I begin benefits on April 1, 2017, or May 1, 2017?

    • Thank you for your question Ben. You will attain your full retirement age, on April 1st. You can apply for your benefits online at any time now. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of April, you will receive your first benefit payment in May. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information.

  39. I was born on 12/1957. I am entitled to retire as early as 60 years old. It is very difficult to find jobs at this age. I have survivors benefits that belongs to my husband that died about 10 years ago, but the money I was expecting is so reduced.

  40. When can I draw on my living spouses social security earnings record and let my set? We have been married for 30+ years, I will be 62 soon. I’d like to leave mine and draw on his. How does that work?

    • Thank you for your question Kay. You may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Under existing law, if you are eligible for benefits both as a retired worker and as a spouse (or divorced spouse) in the first month you want your benefits to begin and are not yet full retirement age, you must apply for both benefits. You will receive the higher of the two benefits. This requirement is called “deemed filing” because when you apply for one benefit you are “deemed” to have also applied for the other. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information.

  41. I am 61, was married for 15 years and am now divorced for 20 years. I’m still working for the past 30 years and have my own SS. My ex husband is 63 and is collecting on his social security. Can I collect part of his SS now and wait until I am 66 to collect my own?

    • Thank you for your question Liliana. If you turn age 62 on or after January 2, 2016, you are required or “deemed” to file for both your own retirement and for any benefits you are due as a spouse, no matter what age you are. If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits. Please visit our “Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced” for more information.

  42. I took early retirement of 62 and I have continued to work part-time. In February 2017 I will reach my full retirement age of 66, will my benefits increase since I have continued to work?

    • Thank you for your question Patty. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. If an increase is due, a new monthly benefit amount is established on your record automatically. See our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working for more information:

  43. I am 65 years old and retired last year. My FRA is 66. My husband is 71 years old and started to receive SS benefits with delayed retirement credits at 70 years old. Will I be able to receive the full survival benefits as the amount that my husband is receiving now (with delayed retirement credits) if I apply for the benefits now based on my own work before my FRA which is next year?

  44. I’m 64 years old and started drawing SS at 62.
    I’ve kept working and now as I file my Federal Income Taxes for 2016 I see I have made $457.00 over the allowance. I made $16,177.00 in 2016. .
    What is going to happen?
    Will my monthly SS check be lowered permanently or just until I pay back 1/2 of $457.00 ?
    Thanks

    • You’re right Rob, for 2016 the earnings limit for beneficiaries under full retirement age was $15,720. We deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. We do this automatically when the earnings are posted to your earnings record. We will send you a notice, letting you know that you were overpaid and that we will withheld from the current year benefits in order to recoup any “incorrect payments” that were made. See our “Retirement Planner: How We Deduct Earnings from Benefits” for more information. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  45. I was born in 1937 and I am 79. I retired at 65. My monthly SSI was $1423. Last month (Jan 2017) there was a $5 increase to $1428. This month (Feb 2017) my SSI was reduced to $1054.20. Why was it reduced?

    • Hi Melva. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  46. Hello, my husband is currently receiving SSDI since january 2015 he was 55 years old when he first receive the SSDI ($1842/mo). I will be 62 years old this august 2017 and would like to apply for an early retirement. My social security online record showed $1980 at full retirement age which will be 66 and 2 months. I calculated the reduction of SS to age 62 and that will be around $1400/mo. My question is… am I going to receive this amount on top of my husband $1842 per month or my husband dissability check will be reduce? Please clarify this for me. Thanks you.

  47. I am a working Social Security Beneficiary, I am 68 years old. I am divorced claiming my own Social Security Benefit. I read on MSN news where a working senior collecting benefits at full retirement age starting year 2017 that social security (FICA) would not be taken from their payroll check and the company they work for would not be subject to the match of the FICA. Is this true and what publication is this? Thank you.

  48. I will be 62 years old in October. If I choose to collect then with the lower rate, will I receive it or an even more reduced rate because I am married and my husband collects his own social security? I thought I saw something on the 2017 new laws about this changing….

    • Hi, Barbara, if a person starts receiving retirement benefits at age 62 or any time prior to their full retirement age, their benefit amount is reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. Your may still be eligible to collect reduced benefits on your husband’s record. Remember, if someone is eligible for both, his or her own benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay their own first. If their spousal benefits are higher than their own retirement benefits, he or she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. To learn more about spouse’s benefits, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page. If you have specific questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and speak with one of our representatives. We hope this information helps!

  49. When I retire at 66 with full benefits I will take my SS because my husband is still alive? Correct.
    He has to have passed before i could get half of his which is higher than mine. The other question is. If he does die, could I then change and get half of his benefits.

    • Hi Debbie. Your benefit as a spouse can –only- be equal to one-half of your husband’s full retirement amount, if you start receiving those benefits at your full retirement age. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your husband must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. When you qualify for Social Security benefits on your own record, we pay that amount first. But if you also qualify for a higher amount as a spouse later on, you’ll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. In the other hand, Survivors Benefits are paid at a higher rate. Please see “Benefits For You As A Spouse” and our Survivors Planner for more information.

  50. Over and over I have read questions regarding “disability”. Nowhere, has anyone specified which type(s) of disability. SS Disability only? VA Disability? Either/or? Both? Can an individual who has contributed to SSI for an entire lifetime, receive both VA service connected compensation (disability) and reduced SS retirement benefits? Even the questions on the SS Application for Retirement benefits don’t specify the policy.

    • Hi Paul. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) each have disability programs, and it is possible to receive disability benefits from both programs. Generally, we do not reduce your Social Security benefits because of your military benefits. To see if your VA disability benefits can be affected, please contact your local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Thanks!

      • Thanks, Mr. Fernandez. My question, however, is in regard to regular SS retirement benefits (reduced rate i.e. early) and service connected disability compensation.

        • Hi Paul. Generally, you can get both Social Security benefits and your military retirement or disability benefits. You’ll get your full Social Security benefit based on your earnings. However, we recommend that you contact your local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office, to check and see, if the military (disability) benefits you receive, can be affected when you collect your Social Security benefits.

    • Hi William. If your wife gets Social Security disability, her benefit will likely stay the same. If she receives disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, your retirement benefit income, may change her SSI benefit. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents if you have specific questions. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Also, visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for additional information.

  51. Well, I have a different question on here! I am currently on a repayment plan from when I tried to retire from working when I turned 62. It didn’t work out and it was my fault for owing the money back to SS. I have been making regular payments now but I will be 66 in May. What will happen next? Will I still keep getting my checks withheld or will I start receiving them again, with my monthly payment taken out?

    • Hi Adrienne. If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. If you reach full retirement age in 2017, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $44,880. When you work and you attain your full retirement age, the amount you make at work will not affect your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. You should contact your local office as soon as possible to discuss your earnings. You may also request “partial withholding of your benefits” to repay the overpayment. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.Thanks.

  52. I will be 62 this year. My husband, who is 63, will be eligible for full retirement benefits at age 66. If I start collecting on my social security this year, will I get an increase as a spouse when he starts receiving his benefits in 3 years?

  53. Good morning. I stopped working when I turned 61. I have 30 years in of covered work and I do not intend to work again. Will I still get less if I file at 62 instead of 66 and 2 months?

    • Great question Ginny. You may start receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you decide to get benefits before your full retirement age, they will be reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for, once they opt to start benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be. Generally, you will need to have 40 “credits”, or 10 years of paying Social security taxes to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. You may find our Early or Late Retirement Calculator helpful. Happy planning!

  54. I was approved for SSDI in Jan. 2017. I will be turning 62 in May & I am wondering does my SSDI change over to SS payments. Or does it change over when I turn 66 & 2 months. Also, if it changes at age 66 does the payment change to the higher amount for full retirement or is my check now considered the full retirement amount. Thank You!

    • Great question Cathleen. If you were born in 1955, your full retirement age is 66 and 2 months. When you reach full retirement age, we will automatically convert your disability benefits (SSDI) to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. Disability payments are established at the highest rate possible, meaning you are getting the highest benefit amount payable, based on your earnings record. We hope this helps.

  55. Good Afternoon. I have a question concerning when I retire. If I choose to retire early at 64 instead of 66 and 2 months ( I was born in 1955) what percentage would I receive? I assume the amount is pro-rated from early retirement at 62 vs. full retirement? I stopped working last year and I no longer am paying into the system. Thank You in advance!

    • Hi, Ginny. Thanks for your question. For persons born in 1955, the approximate percentage received at age 64 is 85.6. For more information, visit our webpage: Full Retirement Age: If You Were Born in 1955. Keep in mind, reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. To get an estimate for different scenarios and ages, please consider using our Retirement Estimator. We hope this helps.

  56. I was born in Dec 51, and am a little less than a year away from full retirement at 66. Luckily I may be earning much more this year than I ever have in a single year. I have heard that benefits are based on your “best year’s earnings.” Will earning a lot in my last year raise my benefits to where they would be if I earned this large an amount in the years before?

    • Good question Eric. The amount of the Social Security benefit you receive is established at the time you apply for Retirement Benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings and your age at the time you apply. Generally, we use the highest years of earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. You can use our online calculator where you can test various scenarios and retirement ages to estimate your benefits. You can also create a my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. We hope this information helps.

  57. I started spousal benefits at my full retirement age (66) and will claim my own benefit when I retire at age 70. Will the years of highest earnings end at 66 for me or at age 70? Thanks.

  58. My husband is 65 and a LPR Green Card holder and will soon be a US citizen this summer. I am 59. Can my husband file for Medicare using my work history now, or do we have to wait 6 years until I turn 65? Also can he claim any of my Social Security? If so, at what age do we both have to be for him to do so?

    • Hi, Anita. Anyone aged 65 or older who does not have 40 credits and therefore not insured, will have to pay premiums for both Medicare Part A & B. Individuals can also qualify for Medicare on their spouse’s record if the spouse is insured, and age 62 or older. You must be age 62 and eligible for retirement or disability benefits in order for your husband to get spouse’s benefits. Under certain conditions, people age 65 or older, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, but are not insured, can buy Medicare Parts A (Hospital) and B (Medical Insurance). Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and speak with one of our agents. To learn more about Medicare, who is covered, and how to apply, check out our publication entitled, Medicare.

  59. When I submitted my application in Jan 2015, I requested my benefits start May 2015. I received a letter from SS stating my benefits would start May 2015. I had been receiving my same benefit through Oct 2016; then the SSA sent me a letter stating that I requested benefits to starry Jan 2015, which is untrue. Now SSA is reducing my benefits. I have written several letters and shown evidence to Harrisburg PA office, but I have received no satisfaction from SSA. They took away some of the money they previously issued to me. HELP!

    • We regret to hear about your situation Shelley. Unfortunately, your situation is a complex one and outside the scope of what can be handled via this forum. You can write to us and provide us with more information about your case. Thanks.

  60. The company I have worked for has closed down as of Dec 2016. Haven’t yet found work in my profession but I’m am submitting resumes for this type of employment. I’m a young and physically able 65 now and will be 66 this year. I’m drawing unemployment at this time and if I continue to draw it when I reach 66, would this affect my Social Security benefit when i apply. If I haven’t been rehired in the job market and still collecting unemployment benefit. Would this affect my situation in any way?

  61. I am 66 born 1950 so I am at full retirement age. I am also working full time and collecting my social security benefits. Is my social security counted as income and taxed?

    • Great question Terry. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. Also, some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040.

  62. Is it true that before changes made in the last couple years; a spouse could collect a spouse benefit before their own retirement age? example; husband is 68 and starts collecting SS. Wife is 55 at this time and starts collecting spouse benefit.

  63. I will be 66 Jan 2018 and plan to continue working full time and draw my social security benefits. Can I also draw portion husband’s social security benefits. He is still living.

    • Thank you for your question Sue. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, your earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. In addition to that, you can receive full retirement benefits on your own record or receive half of your husband’s. Generally, if you qualify and apply for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. However, if you turn 62 before January 2, 2016, and you file for benefits at full retirement age or later, you may also restrict your application to apply only for spouse’s benefits and delay filing for your own retirement in order to earn delayed retirement credits. We hope this information helps!

  64. My husband pass away at a early age. Can I received his
    spouse benefit now or do I have to wait until his 62 birthday. He was born in 1959. Also my retirement age is
    not until the age 65 0r 66 because I too was born in 1959.
    And when I start receiving my benefit will it be the full amount. And will his benefit still come to me

    • Hi Angela, if you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60 (50 if disabled). Your survivor benefit amount would be based on the earnings of the person who died. You cannot apply for survivors benefits online at this time. If you need to apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. We hope this information helps.

  65. I want to make sure I’m filing properly for spousal benefits… my husband is 67 and filed then suspended his benefits in Nov. 2015. I will turn 66 in two months, at the end of May. My understanding is that if I ask for spousal benefits to begin at my full retirement age at that time, I can do so because my husband filed/suspended before the new rules took place in April 2016 and because my birthdate is prior to January 1954. I also understand that I will continue to receive my spousal benefit of 50% of my husband FRA benefit until age 70 or a previous date if I decide to file earlier. Is all this correct?

    • Hi, Barbara. You are correct. The new rules will not affect individuals who have already suspended their benefits before April 30, 2016. Also, since your spouse’s request was before April 30th 2016, your entitlement as a spouse after that date will not be affected by the new rules and you will receive payment. Also, since you turned 62 prior to January 2, 2016, the new law that extends deemed filing rules to benefits at full retirement age and beyond will not apply to you. For more information about these filing strategy changes and spouse’s benefits, please visit our webpage, Retirement Planner: Deemed Filing For Retirement And Spouse’s Benefits Frequently Asked Questions.

  66. Why would anyone NOT choose full retirement SS at age 66?
    Also, I have SS from a disability but will be 65 in May. Do I need to do anything or does my SS remain the same?
    Thank you

  67. (What I meant…)
    Why would someone choose NOT to sign up for full retirement SS at age 66 while they are still working full time?

    • Hi, Marilyn. Thanks for your questions. There are many factors that go into deciding when to retire. For helpful information on how retiring early or later can affect an individual’s benefits, please visit our webpage, Retirement Planner: Plan For Your Retirement. Individuals can also use our Online Retirement Estimator to get estimates of their future retirement benefits. Regarding your disability benefits; Social Security disability benefits, paid under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, automatically convert to retirement benefits when individuals attain their Full Retirement Age. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same. We hope this helps.

  68. I am 63. Plan to retire from my job effective September 1, 2017. I want to start receiving social security benefits after I retire, when should I apply.

    • Thank you for your question Dorothy. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance. Remember that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your retirement benefits to begin with the month of September, you will receive your first benefit payment in October. When you are ready, you can complete the online application for your Social Security retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. Also, you can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your future benefits. You can also apply in person at any Social Security office or by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Happy planning!

    • Thank you for your question Richard. Keep in mind that the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. The amount of SSI benefits is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual. For SSI eligibility, we will take into consideration any income and resources available to you, as the spouse. Meaning, we will take into account your income and resources when figuring out your wife’s SSI monthly benefit amount. In addition, if your wife is eligible for spouse’s benefits on your record, she is required to apply as soon as she becomes eligible. Failure to apply for additional benefits will result in suspension or termination of her SSI benefits. Please visit our web page: “Understanding Supplemental Security Income” for more information.

  69. Hello; I born in 1962 and my husband in 1956. He worked in USA but his Recent calculation for social security income is 770 at age 60. At the time of retirement my payment will be around $2000. Because his income is low can he get half of my SSI ? So it means at age 67 I get 1000 and he gets 1770?
    Could you please help me.
    Thanks;
    Jane

    • Hi Jane. Keep in mind that the earliest individuals can start receiving reduced retirement or spouse’s benefits is age 62. Also, the spouse’s benefit your husband can receive on your record can be one-half of your full retirement amount, ONLY if he applies at his full retirement age. If he was born in 1956, his full retirement age is 66 and 4 months. Furthermore, if your husband qualifies on his own record, we will pay that amount first. If he –later- becomes eligible for a higher benefit amount on your record, he will get an additional amount on your record, so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. By the way if you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67. We hope this information provides some clarity. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse web page for more information.

  70. I will born April 30, 1951, and will be full retirement age of 66 this April 30. For SS purposes, do I reach full retirement on April 1, 2017, or not until April 30. Should I begin benefits on April 1, 2017, or May 1, 2017? If I apply for benefits now, will it revert to the benefits payable at 62 or will I get the benefits for FRA of 66?

    • Great questions! If your full retirement age is 66 and you turn 66 on April 30, 2017 you will attain your full retirement age on April 1, 2017. You need to make a decision about when to apply for benefits based on your individual and family circumstances. Keep in mind each person’s situation is different. For information about what you should consider please visit our Retirement Planner webpage. For more information about when to start your retirement benefits, visit our helpful Fact Sheet “When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits.”

      We pay benefits in the month following the month they are due. So if you begin your benefits in April 1, 2017, you would receive your first check on May 1, 2017. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

      • Thank you. One more question. Since I am working until I retire in January 2018 and I reach FRA in April 2017, will there be a deduction from my benefits for January – March 2017? And since there is no limit beginning April 1, 2017 when I reach FRA, do I still need to add my SS benefits to my income when I file 2017 taxes?
        Thank you

    • Thank you for your question, Michael. Work credits never expire. Your work credits stay on your record when you stop working and paying Social Security taxes. If you return to work later on, you can add more credits to your record. Thanks!

  71. I will be full retirement age of 66 in November. I plan to continue working full time. My question is can I draw my social security then and when I reach 70 can I switch to my ex spouse at 100% since I was married more than 10 years?

  72. I will be FRA 66 in August 2018. Everything I’ve read says I can file and collect my SS benefit in January 2018 with only the excess over approx. $44,000 (2017 exclusion amount) deducted at the 1 for 3 rate. Am I reading the SS documents correctly? I’m expecting to be able collect my SS 7 months early at a slightly reduced rate.

  73. Since I am working until I retire in January 2018 and I reach FRA in April 2017, will there be a deduction from my benefits for January – March 2017? And since there is no limit beginning April 1, 2017 when I reach FRA, do I still need to add my SS benefits to my income when I file 2017 taxes?
    Thank you

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