Are You Age 70 or Older and Not Yet Getting Your Social Security Retirement Benefits?

July 6, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: July 6, 2023

Senior man working at laptop to apply for Social Security benefitsRetirement is not one-size-fits-all. It can mean different things to different people. Perhaps you have not applied for Social Security retirement benefits because you’re still working or are delaying applying so you can get the higher benefit. If you’re age 70 or older, you should apply now for the benefits you’re owed. Your benefits will not increase if you continue to delay applying for them because you are 70 or older.

Did you know that you can receive benefits even if you still work? Your earnings can increase your monthly benefit amount – even after you start receiving benefits. Each year that you work, we check your earnings record. It’s possible your latest year of earnings is one of your highest 35 years. If so, we will automatically recalculate your benefit amount and pay you any increase due.

You can claim your retirement benefits now. The best and easiest way to apply is with a personal my Social Security account. You can create your free account on our website. Once you create your account, you can get an estimate of how much you might receive each month based on when you want to start receiving benefits and then apply.

In your account, you can also:

  • Access our publications – like the fact sheet for workers ages 70 and up.
  • Find your Full Retirement Age.
  • Learn about benefits for your spouse and family members.
  • Apply for benefits.
  • Manage your benefits once you start receiving them.

We’re here to help you secure today and tomorrow and we invite you to learn more about applying for retirement benefits on our website. Please share this blog with your friends and family – and post it on social media.

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  1. GaryD.

    Good Day.
    I turned 70 in April 2023, and filed for ssa on 12-19-2023.
    Can I get the six month backdated application (6/19/2023) without loosing future payment reduction?
    I have my meeting in about 2 months to finalize my application.

    • Sue

      Hi, Gary. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. Since you’ve reached full retirement age, we can pay you up to six months of retroactive benefits before the month you applied. For more information, see our Delayed Retirement Credits webpage. We hope this helps.

  2. Jim D.

    I retired in Nov. 2019 and receive a pension. I turned 70 in May, 2023. My spouse still works full time plus receives a military pension. I was prepared to file for benefits this year but tax preparer said we would be hit with a substantial tax bill, so I didn’t file. My spouse will retire in June 2024. Other than foregoing $$ benefits are there any detrimental aspects to filing after my wife retires? (Which would be when I turn 71) Should I file asap?

    • Sue

      Hi, Jim. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. The decision on when to apply for retirement benefits is a personal one. Please keep in mind that you stopped earning Delayed Retirement Credits at age 70, so your benefit amount will not increase by delaying your benefits beyond 70. You may want to check out our When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits fact sheet. For information about paying taxes on Social Security benefits, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If you need further assistance with your decision, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. When you’re ready to apply, you can complete the online retirement application in as little as 15 minutes. We hope this helps.

  3. PJ S.

    I have received a survivor benefit for ten years but am turning 70 in July. I’ve never received my own benefit which I believe even at age 70 will be less than my current benefit as a survivor.
    Will Social Security Administration automatically assess at age 70 which benefit is the highest?
    Will I automatically receive the highest of the two amounts or must I reach out to them and ask them to do that analysis?

    • Sue

      Hi, PJ. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. The switch from survivors benefits to your own benefit is not automatic. You can apply for retirement benefits up to four months in advance using our online retirement application. Keep in mind, you earn Delayed Retirement Credits for every month you postpone receiving benefits until the age of 70. If your survivors benefits are higher than your own benefit, we will continue to pay you survivors benefits. To discuss your benefit options, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

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