General, Online Services, Retirement

What You Need to Know About the New Laws for Claiming Retirement Benefits

March 14, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Have you heard that some of Social Security’s rules about claiming benefits are changing? Well, it’s true. The Bipartisan Budget Act that passed last November closed two complex loopholes that were used primarily by married couples. We want you to know why this happened, how it might affect you, and what you should do next.

But first, don’t forget that one of the best ways to increase your Social Security retirement benefit is to delay claiming it between ages 62 and 70. Each month you delay results in a higher monthly benefit for the rest of your life. The new law doesn’t change this.

The new law closes loopholes that allowed some married couples to receive higher benefits than intended. Only a small fraction of retirees used these loopholes. Closing them helps restore fairness and strengthens Social Security’s long-term financing.

So what’s changing with the new rules?

  • First, if you are eligible for benefits both as a retiree and as a spouse (or divorced spouse), you must start both benefits at the same time. This “deemed filing” used to apply only before the full retirement age, which is currently 66. Now it applies at any age up to 70, if you turned 62 after January 1, 2016.
  • Second, if you take your retirement benefit and then ask (on or after April 30, 2016) to suspend it to earn delayed retirement credits, your spouse or dependents generally won’t be able to receive benefits on your Social Security record during the suspension. You also won’t be able to receive spouse benefits on anyone else’s record during that time.

For more information about these changes in the law, please visit Recent Social Security Claiming Changes and Retirement Planner.

Deciding when to start your Social Security benefits is a complex and personal decision. You may contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or visit your local field office, to speak with a representative about your retirement options. In particular, if you are or will be full retirement age (66) or older before April 30, and you think you want to suspend your benefits, contact us as soon as possible before April 30. But remember, if you want to let your retirement benefit grow, you can simply delay taking it, up to age 70.

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About the Author

Virginia P. Reno, Deputy Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy

Virginia P. Reno, Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration


  1. W.S. L.

    Hi, I was on SSI for two years and also received Medicaid and food stamps. When I turned 62 I decided to tak my 1,000 a month in Social Security. Because of that, my SSI discontinued as did my Medicaid. I do get Medicare as I am on dialysis and really do need the Medicaid to provide me with the extra payments Medicare does not pay my health care providers. I am still disabled, waiting for a kidney/liver transplant, but all of these convoluted rules makes it impossible to provide for my health care. Any suggestions??

    • Lou

      buy supplemental insurance such as AARP or apply for Medicaid….you can get both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time as long as you qualify… 1,000 per month you should qualify…

      • Jon

        Many GOP states have lowered the “income qualifications” to get Medicaid to almost zero; that means that if you receive gross income of over $500 a month, you are NOT eligible for Medicaid. Hence, although you may apply, and it is true that some people do qualify and receive both Medicare & Medicaid, each state is very, very different.

        • Daryl

          In Pennsylvania the income limit is somewhere around $1080.00/month for SNAP and Medicaid

    • Daryl

      It sounds like you should still qualify for Medicaid and SNAP benefits based on your income if it is $1000/mo. Medicaid will pick up/pay the 20% of health care costs that Medicare(80%) does not pay. You did not mention if you have a Medicare supplement? Or how you pay for it? The American Kidney Fund helps kidney dialysis patients with the costs of paying their health insurance. Ask your renal social worker about this and also to have you reapply for Medicaid in your state.

    • R.F.

      Medicare enrollees who have limited income and resources may get help paying for their premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from Medicaid. Please call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 for more information.

  2. Carol E.

    Why does it take so long to work on discrepancies in pay, when in my opinion these types of issues should be given priority? I’m not talking weeks, or even months waiting, I’m talking years, And while we wait, if it has been determined that a SS recipiant has received an overpayment, through no fault of their own, are they charged interest on the disputed amount?

  3. N. C.

    So sad our government’s goal to get more money at the cost of those of us who now have to worry about losing our own hard earned benefits and not enjoy the years we have left to live and it’s all about more and more greed & money!!! It’s like suppressing or “milking” those who have less! Why don’t the millionaires and billionaires open their hearts and help secure S. S. For the low income elderly !People leave their money to the Arts, which is fine . How about for the hungry, the elderly, all the lives that struggle daily to survive !! If I were a billionaire I would donate housing, medical asst. ,food, to anyone that needs to survive, but can prove that they are drug -substance free, going to school, college, university’,have a job and a clean record !

    • Lou

      It really isnt that serious a problem…raising the cap is the best solution…anyone who makes a lot of $$$ doesnt pay anything on income over $116,000….And extremely wealthy people should not be able to collect period for obvious reasons….What you are describing is the Republicans solution to fixing SS….they want to cut benefits and raise the retirement age….so if you need a raise, believe the retirement age should stay the same, and want to secure SS’s solvency vote Democrats all the way from the WH to Congress….The Republicans are completely out of touch with people simply because they have no clue what its like to live off such limitted income….the R’ are rich and do not care because it doesnt affect them in any way which in my opinion is inhumane, cold and so not the answer…vote Dem WH and Congress!!

      • Gloria

        YOU ARE RIGHT! Raising the cap is the only fair way to fix the SSA funding problem. I’ve been advocating this for years and it has always fallen on deaf ears.

    • Geraldine L.

      Because they can do whatever they want with THEIR money and don’t
      care about the less fortunate people.
      Giving money to the Arts and superficial things makes them feel important.

    • Kimberly

      It’s not “our government” it’s the REPUBLICANS!!!!

      • Dee

        Easy to blame the republicans when in fact democrats never take responsibility for anything!!

  4. paul b.

    I am 71 years of age now is social security in trouble after april 4/0316 ofr what is going to happen thhe next month

    • Lou

      The Democrats Hillary especially has a solid plan to save Social Security….The Republicans answer to saving SS is to raise the retirement age and cut benefits!!!
      make sure you vote

    • R.F.

      Hi Mr. Bach. Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. The new law applies to individuals who request a suspension on or after April 30, 2016. See our Retirement Planner: Recent Social Security Claiming Changes for more information.

      • Mary

        This question is regarding restricted application. The husband is already receiving SSA benefits. His wife, who will have a lower PIA on her own account, turns 65 later in 2016. Her full retirement age is 66. She plans to retire at 65. If she files for both her own and spousal benefits on her husband’s account, both will be reduced for age. Can she file and restrict her filing to either just her own account or to just spouse’s benefits on her husband’s account?

        • R.F.

          Hi Mary, thank you for your question. Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Individuals born before January 2, 1954 that have already reached their full retirement age, can choose to receive only the spouse’s benefit and delay receiving your retirement benefit until a later date. If you qualify for benefits on your own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your spouse’s record is higher, you’ll get an additional amount on your spouse’s record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount. See our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information.

          • Mary

            That didn’t quite answer the question. Maybe I wasn’t clear. She was born in 1951 and will be turning 65 but her full retirement age is 66. Her husband is already receiving his SS on his own account. At age 65, can she restrict her application to receive only her own A benefits or only her own B benefits? In other words, is she allowed to restrict her application if she files at age 65 this year even though her full retirement age is 66?

          • R.F.

            Hi again Mary. The option to restrict an application extends only to individuals who have attained their full retirement age (currently 66). This option allows couples to start receiving spousal benefits at full retirement age, while letting their own retirement benefit accrue delayed retirement credits. 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. By law, you will receive the higher of the two benefits. For more information, please see Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse or contact us at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance.

    • Jon

      Currently SS is solvent until 2035; what will happen beyond that is unknown…

  5. CJ

    Joan is right. Nothing is easy for this country and not much is fair either. We pay taxes on our social security when we work, then when we collect, we again pay taxes on what SS pays us. To top that off, they claim there is no COLA because there was no inflation last year and we get the same pay as last year with no increase for the grocery bills, insurance bills, anything you purchase bills going up and up and up. This country is not supposed to have double taxation and yet those we elect continue to make millions of dollars and the poor retires that we are get no increase and have to struggle to get our bills paid this year with no increase. The senators and representatives and the president should all have to be paid much less and learn to live the way we seniors do, on a very limited budget. They are all greedy and only think of themselves. I hope they run out of money when they retire so they can feel how it feels to us who only have a limited income that won’t even pay for all that we need to live.

    • Joel

      I have always said that all federal elected officials in Washington should be on their State’s payroll as state employees and not federal employees. After all, they supposedly work for us but when they get elected they somehow forget about us. This way, they are only entitled to the number of days of vacation that state employees get, the same retirement plan (right now, if they serve just one term they can retire at full salary and benefits), the same medical plan, etc. And, we need to put a term-limits amendment to the Constitution – Congresspeople can serve four two-years terms and Senators can serve two six-year terms, and the President can only serve one six-year term so they don’t spend have of their terms running for re-election with the taxpayers footing the bill.

      • Eileen

        I, too, have felt the frustration about the lawmakers who pad their pockets while continuously limiting our social security income .
        They have the power to reverse Johnson’s error of putting our Social Security money back into an exclusive account that which no others funds can be drawn. I thought that we were stuck with bad lawmakers.then I thought of the only power that do we have. Vote them out! Find the representatives that WILL work for us, and vote them in. I know they are out there somewhere!

      • Philbo 1.

        Hey Joel,
        I agree with your point but UH, I’m pretty sure the President is allowed to serve two 4-year terms; NOT one 6-year term. Best to have your facts straight or you have no argument.

    • Robert F.

      CJ- You are right ON !! Obama has denied 3 times since he has been in to give Seniors a cost of living increase ! The last one was based on GAS Prices ONLY and NOT on the INCREASE of Food,and everything else that went UP !! Clean OUT Washington as those FREE LOADERS care LESS of US !!

      • Gloria

        Obama doesn’t decide what the SSA cost of increase is or what it is based on! There is a cola law that sets the cola amount. Congress set the law amount years ago.
        It seems that everytime someone doesn’t like something happening, it’s automatically Obama’s fault!
        A more educated public would stop this nonsense.

        • jim

          Thank you Gloria! It seems that the most uninformed and bigoted people respond with their ignorance on these boards. The easier it gets in the Internet age to get correct information, the less it is done.

          • Connie

            It is unfair to call people bigoted. Every President gets the blame for what is wrong. The President is the leader and could have proposed changes that would have included an increase in SS benefits. Instead a bipartisan bill was passed and signed by the President which restricted spousal benefits. They could have included and the President could have advocated for seniors at that time.

        • R.F.

          Automatic benefit increases, also known as cost-of-living adjustments or COLAs, have been in effect since 1975, and it is based on the annual increase in consumer prices. To learn more, visit the “History of Automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustments” web page. Thanks.

        • John

          The Social Security Act specifies a formula for determining each COLA. According to the formula, COLAs are based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). CPI-Ws are calculated on a monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

          A COLA effective for December of the current year is equal to the percentage increase (if any) in the average CPI-W for the third quarter of the current year over the average for the third quarter of the last year in which a COLA became effective. If there is an increase, it must be rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent. If there is no increase, or if the rounded increase is zero, there is no COLA.

          • R.F.

            Automatic benefit increases, also known as cost-of-living adjustments or COLAs, have been in effect since 1975, and it is based on the annual increase in consumer prices. To learn more, visit the “History of Automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustments” web page. Thanks

        • adam j.


      • Jon

        The COLA for Social Security benefits, formerly called Automatic Cost of Living increases was started by congress in 1975. This COLA has changed over time by congress, and it is tied to the CPI.
        Paul Ryan and the Republican controlled congress changed the way the CPI is calculated, and that, in turn, changed how much or if SS beneficiaries will receive a COLA.
        The GOP took over both houses of congress… hence, no COLA for SS beneficiaries in 2010, 2011, and 2016.
        With the exception of these 3-years, SS beneficiaries have always enjoyed an increase each year.
        President Obama does not have anything to do with how the CPI is calculated or how the COLA for SS beneficiaries is determined.
        Thank your congressperson for that!

      • LM

        Contact Speaker Paul Ryan and your local Republican reps, they re-computed the Cola, as it’s their function, not the President’s; Please educate yourselves all who don’t understand how government laws and regulations are made.

    • Lou

      ALL of it is Republican policies…if you want more flexibility and a raise VOTE BLUE…vote Democrat WH and especially Congress! Again SS is not an entitlement…the tax you pay 6.2% FICA is matched by your employer and the amount you collect is directly correlated with your last 5 years wages and if you didnt work enough over your entire life to get 20 credits you dont qualify to collect any SS at all…..

    • Geraldine L.

      You hit the nail on the head!!

    • Jean

      And they are thinking of raiseing the starting wages to 15$ an hour really all I see is everything going up I guess some people don’t see this if they never go to a grocery store or stop and pay for there own gas. My husband had to go on disability 3 years ago it sure not what we intended he has workd hard 2/3 jobs all his life ( now 62) I drove a school bus and now all we can only get 28$ mo from SNAP who seem to think that every 3 moths we need a new interview theres another messed up entity but if ur jobless young and have a few kids u can get up to 500$ a mo. plus cash asstaince. This country needs to care for the people who have worked age 60 – 62 is long enough to work full time the longer you keep people working #1 the less chances they will collect there SS and pass on #2 By lessening the retirement age it gives younger people work

      • kcfree2b

        I thought that also, if you allow people who want to to retire, at least at the age of 62, you open up jobs. I can see getting less than at age 65 (not 67 or 70!), but give full retirement at age 65 even if you retire earlier! Let people work part time to supplement if they want without penalizing ss amount. Offer Medicare starting age 62. That way at least people can retire or partially retire or continue working and get a little break from paying into health benefits, their employer gets a break also if they continue to work, people have the option to work part time.

  6. Dan S.

    I am a surviving spouse, age 64. Can I draw reduced, pre-full retirement age benefits from my deceased spouse’s account (would I receive 50% of his benefit?) and allow my own account to increase at 8% per annum during my age 66+ to age 70, then switch over and draw at 100% from my own fully appreciated own account?

    • Steve

      At the age of 64, you would receive 90.5 %o of your late husband’s full social security amount. There is a deduction for every month you are under 66 of 3.958% approximately. You can delay drawing from your account until 70, accrue 8% bonus each year. I am in the same boat as you are and this is how it worked for me.

      • LM

        Yes, but only if you file before the April 30 deadline.

        • MM

          Not true. The April 30th deadline is regarding the file and suspend strategy and does not apply to survivor benefits scenario. I agree with Steve’s answer.

    • R.F.

      Hi Dan. In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate. If a person receives widow’s or widower’s benefits, and will qualify for a retirement benefit that’s more than their survivors benefit, he or she can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Visit our “Social Security Benefit Amounts For The Surviving Spouse By Year Of Birth” web page for more information.

      • shadi a.

        I am 65 years old, I need money and wanted to apply for ss. which is about $1300.00, my question is if I continue working how many percent tax do I have to pay and can I use that tax towards my SS retirement or losing it?

        • R.F.

          Thank you for your question, Shady. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. While working, the combined tax rate for Social Security and Medicare contributions for 2016 is 7.65% per employee. 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. We hope this information helps.

          • Sheree

            If I make $1800 a month from Social Security drawing at 64 and take $9000 year out of my IRA will I pay 10% bracket on the 9K or does that get added to my Social Security and I’m taxed on all of it? The calculator I found online still showed NO taxes on SS.
            I know deductions can change this, but with that aside I cannot understand what I am reading on the SS site about this. I feel it’s important to know cause I could be spending thousands in taxes a year that I can’t afford

          • R.F.

            Hi Sheree, for any income tax related questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040.

      • Paula

        I want to confirm the information you have given.

        It is the surviving spouse’s choice on when to switch from a widow’s or widower’s benefit to her or his own benefit between the ages on 62 and 70?

        I can apply for survivor benefit under deceased husband’s record and wait until age 70 for my benefit under my record?

        Are there any limitations?

        The Survivor’s page is not very clear on this situation.

        Thank you.

    • Jean

      If your spouce was already collecting the day he passed on you are entitled to recive 100% of his SS or keep your which ever is largest. I know that sounds bad but we all have to live. Life goes on

  7. Joan C.

    Why is everything in this country a frigging gamble?
    From which insurance plan ~ so there are more ways for the companies to get OUT of paying ~ to when you may retire. If you do this, then… If you choose that, then… Why don’t we just TAKE CARE of people, every single person like they do in other countries? Bernie is right!

    • Joel

      But if Bernie has his way, who is going to pay for it? I think that the best way to do it is for everyone to open a retirement savings account, separate from SS, where you can have two or three sources of income when you retire. I am saying that you can draw pensions from SS, your separate retirement fund, and your company’s retirement plan. Many people have no sense of responsibility in managing their finances and then want the government (i.e., the taxpayers) to take care of them.

      • Robert F.

        Joel; SS is NOT a Government entitlement ! I paid into SS for almost 60 years and will never get back what I paid in after Lyndon Johnson stole SS and put it into the GENERAL FUND for the Government to use as they wished !! It should have been LEFT ALONE and SS would have been solvent forever !!

        • Nancy

          Actually you get back what you put into Social Security in approximately the first 2 years of receiving benefits. Even if there are no changes to Social Security, you will probably receive all your benefits if you had been working for 60 years. If no changes are made to prolong Social Security funding, (raise full retirement age, raise limit of income taxed for Social Security, etc.) you will still receive 75% of your benefits starting sometime after 2030.

          • Rick

            here’s a good idea: How about if you don’t pay into social security, you don’t get it. Let’s stop giving it away and allow those who’ve EARNED it, be able to use it.
            oh, wait, that’s not politically correct. Blah

          • J G.

            When you say that we will get back everything paid in 2 years you are assuming that we would be stupid enough like the elected idiots to not invest the money. I have worked 40 plus years and guarantee that if I had the money paid into Social Security I could have invested it and pay myself what I will receive from the government when I begin to draw SS a lot longer than 2 years.

          • Dan M.

            Nancy, your note that the first two years of SS benefits pays back about what one paid into SS is not valid. When we paid into SS there was a more nearly sound dollar. What we get back are promissory notes of very little value. If you figure the inflation rates and the interest rates that prevailed through the years, then you may figure that it takes about 6 to 8 years of benefits to repay the same value that has now accrued from your past, hard-earned working years.

          • sheila

            So Rick one question to not paying anything to someone who hasn’t paid in.. You do know that women who were “just” wives and mothers don’t “pay “into the system?

          • UnionLady

            That is not true.

          • Jim M.

            really . So between my employer and I we paid into ss almost 125,000 . I get 1,167 a month . Take that 125,000 and add the interest over 40 plus years and I could live like a king . Don’t give me that crap I will get whet I paid in in two years .That money should have been in an interest bearing account and we people that paid into it should have the option of taking all they paid in plus interest and we would never have to worry about money problems .

        • Patrick C.

          Robert you will get all your money you paid into social security in 3-5 years. Do your home work look at your statement it shows what you paid in, divide that by your FRA payments AT 66, the math doesn’t lie.

        • Linda


          • Linda

            Hi, I was divorced after a little more then 20 years of marriage. After a couple of years I was remarried and have been for a little less than 15 years. I am 61 years old and was hoping to retire in 2017. I spoke to an agent for SSA and she said I couldn’t collect a part of my husband’s SSA, but I could collect my ex-husbands, when he retires, (Something about Whose Birthday is first). If I collect my own it would only be $365 a month. If I want to receive part of my ex-husbands, I have to wait for my ex husband to retire before I can collect part of his. If I don’t wait for him to retire, I will not be able to collect part of his SSA. If I wait for him to reach retirement age, 62, I will be 66. If he doesn’t retire until he is 70, I will be 74. The man I am married to now has been retired since he was 62 years old. I asked the agent if I could collect mine and once my ex retires I can apply to get part of his SSA. The agent said I couldn’t. This new law isn’t helping me at all. I lost a great deal in my divorce, now the Federal Gov. is taking more from me.

          • R.F.

            Hi Linda. If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later (or current) marriage ends. You may be eligible for Spouse’s Benefits at age 62 on your current husband’s record if he is receiving retirement or disability benefits. For further assistance, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you will have a shorter waiting time if you call later during the week. Thank you.

        • Wayne

          It wasn’t Johnson but Clinton who opened the Social Security lock box for the government

      • John

        Joel, I think you might want to watch the movie “The Big Short” I am surprised of your faith in the financial markets and banking institutions in this country. I do not want to solely depend on the market for my retirement income and since pensions are a rarity these days we are running out of ways to sufficiently provide a retirement income if social security is not viable. The greatest country on earth should be able to care of their elderly.

      • Carol R.

        Joel – I think you are missing the point. In order to open two or three retirement accounts requires money. Money that most people don’t have. And not all companies have retirement plans. You can’t manage finances you don’t have!

      • Fonda M.

        Joel my husband of 45 years paid in for 50 years and collected 6 years before he died. I have paid into it for nearly 50 years and 1371 is not enough to go around . Medical treatments for diabetes and RA has taken my 401k and retirement I don’t want charity as I earned that and so did he. I got 255 when he died and even thought I have worked since 14 years old I won’t even get that as it is only paid once to a family. If congress can vote themselves a raise and benefits we can’t even compare with why shouldn’t SS give us a small raise to off set cost of living as everything is higher

      • Pat

        Funny how social security is running out of money, but no one ever says anything about welfare running out of money!

      • Philbo 1.

        Thanks Joel, well said. Yea, lets look at life in “other countries”, but which ones? Are we talking Europe or what? Because most of those “other countries” drive around in trucks picking up their dead who starved or died of disease on the side of the road and dumping them in deep ditches and covering them with scoop fulls of trash with a bulldozer. I know! I’ve seen it. Now there’s a retirement program huh?

      • Lucy

        Social Security is not government funded. It’s taken out of your paycheck.

    • Rob

      I like Bernie on a personal basis, but cannot agree with his stance for socialism. One only has to look at the troubled socialized countries in Europe to realize this is the wrong path.
      Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, the list goes on and on. Unemployment in those countries is very high because their economies are in a prolonged recession.
      Contrarily, our country has succeeded primarily because of capitalism, where everyone has a chance to make a reasonable living, and are not so dependent on the government.
      I do not want to depend on our government for most of my health and retirement benefits. Why? Can you think of any more wasteful entity than our government? 18 TRILLION DOLLARS is the deficit! And it is rising! No business in the world could survive being as irresponsible as that!
      No, I would rather have the opportunity to take care of myself and my family in a capitalistic environment.
      I am not saying capitalism is perfect. There are some high-level crooks that should be thrown in jail. But what is perfect? Nothing on this earth. However, this is the best system, and fairest system, the world has ever known. This is why so many countries want to convert to a capitalistic system. It is also why so many people, legally and illegally, want to live here. We are free to do what we want. All of us could not even be writing on this blog in some countries. Be thankful that you can find what you are good at, and have the opportunity to build a business. No guarantees of course. But you are guaranteed that you can try to build another one!

      • Lou

        Just a quick explanation on the deficit and the debt…..the debt is how much money we owe and the deficit is the difference between what the govt. spends and what it collects in taxes….the deficit has been cut by 2/3 down from $1.5 Trillion to $500 billion….a tremendous accomplishment by Obama considering the utter refuse to do anything GOP CONGRESS….Democrats want to expand and secure SS while the Republicans want to cut with the hopes of possibly completely doing away with SS….So the moral of the story is Obama has set the record for cutting federal govt spending by $1 Trillion…the debt is $18 Trillion not the deficit….the deficit is $500 Billion

      • Jon

        Only the 1% can do what they want, and not have to worry about going to prison…
        Communism, socialism, and capitalism are just WORDS, which tend to evoke different emotional responses in different people.
        We don’t have a true capitalistic system here in America; we never had and never will, part of our system is very much socialism, and mostly just an extremely corrupt form of capitalism. In point of fact it is more of an oligarchy.
        Where are all these countries lining up to embrace capitalism?
        You obviously get your news directly from Pravda…

        • Rick

          Agree. Why were there no arrests at ENRON, WORLDCOM and others?
          Why are there no arrests for the water fiasco in Flint Michigan?
          When we bailed out the car companies and Banks, the executives STILL got their contractual raises. I say give it to them and then let them rot in jail. That money could buy a lot of cigarettes for them.

      • Aida R.

        Why not look at France , the UK and Canada. They are doing OK with their “socialism” and their governments are looking after the elderly and their people in general.

        • RD

          I have worked all my life. I had an injury tyat made me eligible for benefits at a very early age. I felt that I could suck it up another 40 years to let someone who needed SS more have it. We are all n this together, at least I thought so. I believe that the majority of us only want what we are entitled to. The Government needs to stop trying to weasel out of it’s obligations to the American people. It’s not socialism if I already paid for it. It seems strange to me that money can always be found to spend on wars, but not a cent for the Americans who sacrifice for them.

          • Stanley L.

            Very true

          • Linda

            Wake up America! Canada has its faults big time. My cousin had to wait before she could get a colonoscopy, 6 months. They found cancer, and scheduled an operation, one year later. She ended up dying. My aunt was living with her partner for over 30 years. The partner, (female) got sick. When the Canadian gov. found out, they came in, took the partner and put her in a hospital and kick my aunt out of her home. America is the only country that is still free.

        • Pat

          You are not looking closely enough at the countries you mentioned as their countries are not where I would want to be. My husband is a Brit and his family is still in UK. Not what YOU think it might be. The Canadians come to the US for healthcare needs because prices and wait times are ridiculous. Stop comparing the US to other countries and wishing we were they. If you think it is better sounds like you should be packing your bags. Trust me it would be the wrong choice.

          • Jan

            Canadians do not come to the US for treatment.
            This is a total myth used for political purposes. Our health care and the way we take care of our own people is not ranked very high among the civilized countries

          • MTX

            Jon it is not a myth! I guess my Doctor who is from Canda and told me her father came to the US for a heart stint bc the wait was so long in Canda didn’t know what she was talking about?

        • Philbo 1.

          France, Canada, and the UK? Really? Doing OK? What do you consider doing OK? Canadian citizens pay over 55% of their income for taxes to their socialized government and then watch family members deteriorate and/or die before they receive necessary critical health care because their socialized healthcare system frequently requires 3 or 4 months before they get an appointment to see a doctor. They barely have enough money left to live on never mind having enough left over to “buy-up” into the Que to see a doctor inside of 3 to 4 months. You should check your facts before you go spewing things you don’t know about.

      • BobC

        Great response! A well thought out answer.

      • Carol R.

        Jon – Do you really believe that our capitalistic society is a success? If so, I would like to know where you are because you are definitely not looking out the same window I am! You must be very wealthy to have made the statements you made. People can’t build businesses when they are worried about paying their rent and feeding their children. Those needs are very immediate. Build a business? Step into the real world for a change.

      • Dan M.

        Rob – you are correct. Even Scandinavian countries use Capitalism from which to feed. Their “socialism” is just enough to prevent growth but not quite enough to kill the goose completely, yet. What the Bernie people need to look at is Venezuela – the closest country currently using a Socialistic system at this time. They really feel the Burn down there. (Especially the burn on their butts because they have no bathroom tissue.) Without their black market, they would have no markets at all.

      • Melody

        To Rob: So well said! Complete history lesson in less than a minute of reading – ALL true.

    • Gary

      Then who will pay for what you are talking about, the money has to come some where. How about sending the ones back across the river that are not legal and oh yes the rag heads that say death to America and if you disagree they gut your head off in cold blood. All these people right now are taking our tax dollars that suppose to go to us and should not even be here in the first place. That is why I am voting for Trump to fire every dam one of those crap heads in Washington that are not for us but they are for themselves. You say your voting for Burnie Burnie you flashing your vote down the toilet . The more the LIBS talk bad about Trump the more votes he gets and this gift from above to me and you know who I am talking about.

    • John O.

      Life is a gamble. Is there a question in there somewhere that can be answered?

    • wayne

      Trump is also right.

  8. Ester

    I have been receiving benefits since I turned 62. I applied at that time because of some health issues (not disability), just health issues. I am now 66 and in better health.
    Does this new law apply to me as well…the one about suspending payments before April 30th and waiting until age 70 to start receiving payments again? Will my benefits increase if I were to suspend my benefits for another 4 years?

    • Charles M.

      Why is there no answer to this one?? I am in the same situation. I am 66 I took my ss at 65. Can I suspend my ss? Plus can my wife still claim 1/2 of my ss?

    • John O.

      You can only suspend payments from the point you are eligible for your first payment. The new law has nothing to do with you.

    • R.F.

      Thanks for your question Esther. A beneficiary who has reached full retirement age (FRA) may voluntarily ask that we suspend his or her benefits to earn delayed retirement credits. The new law implements some restrictions effective April 30,2016. Please visit our “Retirement Planner: Suspending Benefit Payments” for complete information.

  9. Clara

    when I completely retire I will only be getting 18,720 a year. Could I qulify for food stamps or ssi?

    • cam

      you need to see how much taxes are being taken out of your retirement is coming out from what type of fund I dont know if you have to pay taxes but you are making 1,000 dollars a month I am guessing with your retirement you will probly qualify for medicad and medicare as far as food stamps goes your expences they count for housing rent,energy,cell phone they have allowable housing expenses to a certain point but cut back on your expense like eating out and your retiremet will greatly increase stsrt useing credit cards thst give cash back with no minimum intrest charge a penny saved is literaly a penny earned

      • Jennifer B.

        I am currently receiving SSDI. I have a Teachers Retirement System Retirement/Disability Annuity. Can I receive both without one counseling or reducing the other? I am afraid of applying for fear of this happening.

        Also, If it’s possible to receive both without a reduction should I hire a disability attorney to handle the TRS disability case?

        Thank you

        • A.C.

          Hi, Jennifer. Thanks for your questions. Generally, a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your Social Security benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions: the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset. Attorney representation does not affect monthly Social Security benefits. We hope this helps.

    • R.F.

      Thank you for your question Clara. For information about the food stamps program, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to contact your local SNAP office. The Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a program that pays benefits to disabled adult and children and the elderly with limited income and resources. Please read our publication about the SSI program for more information. We hope this information helps!

    • BKH

      Unearned income such as your Social Security retirement income has a $20- income disregard. Figure your monthly income amount ($1560) and subtract $20. Then compare that amount of $1540 to the current SSI income limit which is about $731. You are well over the income limit for this program. SSI limits do vary somewhat from state to state. Further, SSI is only paid to individuals whose countable resources are valued at $2000 or less. It is doubtful that you would qualify for SNAP (food stamps) unless your shelter expenses are unusually high or if you are supporting other household members. Hope this helps. If in doubt, file an application.

      • Diane

        Can someone tell me where do I post my question please help

        • Jerry

          I am set to retire on August 23rd. I am still working. my social security will be 2200 a month. Currently I am making around 5000 a month take home. How much can I earn with with out being taxed at a higher rate and what is the rate I will be taxed?

        • Jerry

          I am set to retire on August 23rd. I am still working. my social security will be 2200 a month. Currently I am making around 5000 a month take home. How much can I earn with with out being taxed at a higher rate and what is the rate I will be taxed? I will officially stop working October 15th this year.

  10. EDDIE C.


    • cam

      no you dont your spouce is not claiming social security off your record inwould only claim it until neccessay longer you delay it the better

      • Pepper

        I make far less ($1065 month) than that on Social Security and it is my only income. I have no other money or assets. I only get $16 a month in food stamps and I do not qualify for Medicaid and certainly not for SSI. You can look up the threshold amounts for each of these programs in your state. I can assure you that you will not qualify for SSI. If you have any retirement savings that will also go against you as that is an asset.
        The programs you have stated are for the poorest of the poor and at $18,720 a year, I’m pretty sure you will not qualify for any of them.

        • Sheila

          Are you below age 65? What State are you in? Some states have a Mediciad Buy-IN for people that are disabled and working. I was just wondering if that would be available to you.


            I am in Kansas and im disabled Is there a buy in thru medicaid.

          • R.F.

            Medicare enrollees who have limited income and resources may get help paying for their premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from the Medicare Savings Programs. Visit or call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 for more information.

          • Leslie R.

            I,live in
            and receive Socil Security. My wife of 57 years also
            Receives Social Security.
            I receive a retirement check
            From OPERS since I retired
            From The Oklahoma State
            Department of Corrections.
            We both have Medicare and have $1100.00 taken
            Out of our SS checks. A year. I am a 100% Disabled
            veteran and receive a check from the VA monthly.
            Since my VA Benefits also
            Include My wife’s CHAMPVA which pays for
            All her Medical Care. That
            Is not paid by Medicare. We have not filed an income tax form since I was disabled in 1989 and
            All of our income other than the VA Disability has
            Not been over the amount
            Earned which was always
            Insufficient to require filing.

        • Denny

          If you come to Serbia you can live like King on 1065 a month

        • Retired

          $16? What can you buy with $16?

          • Terri

            1 lobster tail.

          • ramon

            maruchan ramen soup cups

          • Turnpike C.

            64 packs of Ramen Noodles

          • lucylu

            That is the new amount of food stamps for income based guidelines. Recent cuts to the program.

          • Ed G.

            $ loaves of bread and a drink can be bought for $16 @ Costco

          • Paulette M.

            For that amount – a few Kids Happy Meals – Hamburger, Fries, Drink and Toy – that could make you smile – by giving the toy to a toddler there but the amount $16.00 is a sad amount – for Seniors’.

        • Philbo 1.

          Hey Pepper! you sound like another “whoa is me; I’m poor; I wasn’t smart enough to get an education nor did I think to save when I should have, free-ride, somebody needs to help me, white-trash or low life minority parasite type assholes”. You get what you give dumb-ass.

          • Rita B.

            This is so mean! You do not know this woman or what her real circumstances are,,,,
            Your attitude is what has gone wrong in this great butdivided country

      • Peggy H.

        Can I get SS benifets through my ex husband. I am retired from the old federal retirement so didn’t pay into SS until went yo work part time after retirement. So I don’t receive any SS and have to pay ever year just to get Medicare.

        • Joyce

          During my DIVORCE though major depression and No lawyer than tolally depended on my hushand than employed by. He told me he had paid in my ss. Years afterwards I learn he never did than much lies. I’m disable and only recive 460.00 a month living on than houseing.
          Was work in part time until last month a car wreck finish that out. No car than money to even work. Anger is how do man get away with this. Now he tells me he not claiming until he is 70.
          Fact remains even if sounds mental…..thst this man stole way to much from my life and should back pay from useing me on taxes but not in my ss…..don’t make sense to me. Now he buys A 225.000 home and I can as die after 22 yrs were together. Alimony was only granted for seven yrs. Plus we have ass disability DSUGHTER grown that I distance take care of…….in Ga I live and okla he lives any advice thst I have any rights or unknow laws or attorney whom can help ME!!!! thank you

          • R.F.

            Hi Joyce, you may be eligible to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62 if:
            • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
            • You are unmarried;
            • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
            • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
            If your spouse hasn’t applied for benefits, but can qualify for them and is age 62 or older, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s work if you’ve been divorced for at least two years. Please visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced, then check out our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know” for more important information.

          • Terri

            You can enroll in college for free in many states. That may help you since you sound Illiterate. That means you can’t read, write or compose sentences.

        • R.F.

          Hi Peggy, you may be eligible to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62 if
          • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
          • You are unmarried;
          • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
          • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
          However, if you receive a pension from a government job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security benefit on your ex-spouse’s record may be affected. For more information, please visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced.

          • Ramona L.

            To Territory who left the rude remark above..
            speaking on “take a class”…it would benefit you greatly to take one on “kindness” and “class.”

        • Margaret E.

          I am 67 years old. I am divorced. I retired from ERS/TRS. L. Female. I also draw $158.00 SSI per month in addition to my Teacher Retirement of $1125.00 month. Am I entitled to draw SSI benefits from my X-Spouse?

          • TONY S.

            What state are you in you draw more than me and I can’t get SSI

        • Sherri W.

          Can a spouse draw on deceased SS at 66 if he has not Paid SS but deceased spouse had

          • R.F.

            A widow or widower of a person who worked long enough under Social Security can start receiving survivors benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled). The benefit amount would be based on the earnings of the person who died. The more he or she paid into Social Security, the higher the benefit amount would be. At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivors benefits. Please 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. To make an appointment call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our representatives. Representatives are available between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday. Thanks.

        • Rozella H.

          I was married for 12 years before my divorce. Can I receive benefits from my ex-husbands social security?

          • Rozel H.

            I was married for 12 years before my divorce. Can I receive benefits from my ex husband along with my social security?

        • Kay

          You can file on your exhusband if you were married for 10 years . Even if you never worked or paid into it !

    • R.F.

      Hi Eddie. Delayed Retirement Credits automatically accrues when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. You only need to contact us when you are ready to start receiving your benefits. Remember that you can apply for your benefits online at any time now.
      There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire, the decision on when to file is a personal one. To help you plan for the future, you can use our Retirement Planner and you can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this information helps!

      • Janine

        Isn’t the amount of your benefit acualized over what your potential life expectancy, and unless you continue working during the time you are delaying benefits, there really isn’t much benefit in waiting to collect ? In other words, if you live to be 80, you will get nearly the same amount. For instance, my benefit is $1,898 at 62, $2,504 at 66, and $3,305 at 70, which calculates out to approximately 409K, 420K, and 396K for lifetime payments, respectively. If you live to be 85, then the difference between the benefits collected amount to about 3K per year for the years between 62 and 85, but since SS is taxed differently, wouldn’t it be better to use SS funds, rather than say, your 401K funds which are fully taxed, for those 23 years, in which case your 401K funds would be growing (tax free) all those years and be larger later on? I see a lot of encouragement to wait to collect SS, but when I analyze all the factors for a situation in which I am not working during the years I am delaying retirement, there doesn’t seem to be any advantages to waiting, and there seems to be valid reasons why I would have more money if I don’t wait.

        • dianne k.

          I would like to see the reply to this question because it makes a huge amount of sense. It seems the system is designed to encourage you to wait, for obvious reasons of mortality, but if you aren’t planning to work beyond 62, why wait? A response would be appreciated.

          • R.F.

            Hi Dianne. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding when to retire, each individual case can be different, and the decision on when to file is a personal one. We provide a variety of benefit-calculators to help you plan for the future. You can use our Retirement Planner and you can also create a my Social Security account to verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. We hope this information helps!

        • MrBill757

          What’s missing from the discussion on delaying is the fact that one will need MORE money in the earlier years of their retirement when they are more active. Many still have mortgage payments in their 60s and 70s. Why pay off a 3% mortgage when investments are yielding 5%. One also loses the tax deduction as well. The only big variable when analyzing the income stream in one’s old age are health care costs. My wife and I both have a long term health care policy which will greatly help in the event of a big health care issue. Why be swimming in money as you sit in your proverbial rocking chair in your 80s and 90’s? I don’t think my wife and I will be on cruise ships and travelling all over the world when we’re 85, much less 90 years old. There’s also NO discussion regarding “means testing” of social security payments. Do you really think you’ll be getting $2400/mo from other taxpayers so you can go on cruises and buy nice cars when you’re sitting there with $1 million dollars in the bank and getting $2 thousand a month in retirement from another career all the while the system soesn’t have enough money and there’s millions out there on the fruited plain living on $900/month??? Medicare premiums and retired military health benefits are already means tested. It’s only a matter of time untilsocial security recipients have their turn. You saw what Obama has been able to do with a stroke of a pen, changing bathroom policy that has existed for thousands of years. Would it be that radical to do the same with social security policy?

          • julie

            ok just for the heck of it is the money this person worked they took with out permission it is their money so neither here nor htere its theirs to take or not take

          • Pat

            I will be 66 in July of 2017 and I plan to continue working full time at $60,000/yr for at least another few years. I want to start collecting SSI when reaching full retirement age. I plan on off setting this SSI payment by increasing the money I put into my 401K. I feel getting $2000 a month in SSI plus my salary for another few years far outweighs waiting to collect my SSI until I finally decide to retire. Is this a good plan?

          • Philbo 1.

            Hey Pepper! you sound like another “whoa is me; I’m poor; I wasn’t smart enough to get an education nor did I think to save when I should have, free-ride, somebody needs to help me, white-trash or low life minority parasite type assholes”. You get what you give dumb-ass.

          • Philbo 1.

            Hey MrBill757,
            Do you even know what the fuck you are talking about? You don’t seem to understand that folks getting SSI benefits ARE NOT all living off “other taxpayers” , THEY PAID IN TO THE SYSTEM! Its their money!. AND! If all folks were smart enough to save a modest nest egg over the course of a lifetime (and trust me; 1 million ain’t that big a deal anymore), EARN a pension, AND be elligible to collect SSI benefits by age 62 or later, they have done the right thing. NOT the wrong thing. Now go think about it and kiss my ass.

        • Heidi

          You have a point here but, you do have to remember you have to take a required minimum distribution starting at 70 1/2 yrs of age from your retirement accounts. it is a % of your total retirement assets but you can not just leave it.

        • Marcia

          I have been collecting widow benefits of around $900.00 a month. I turned sixty six in January 2016. After NUMEROUS calls to SS,I was finally able to speak with someone to see if I waited longer for my own benefit I would receive a higher amount. I was told yes and I could prolong applyng for my benefits, I have been working part time in Real Estate and do to failing health, have hardly made any money this year but am still paying dues, expenses etc.
          The person I spoke with new I was collecting widow benefits but said nothing about loosing them if I prolonged my own benefits.
          Yesterday, I received a letter saying we paid you $6,432.40 for Jan 2016 -July 2016 which needs to be repaid as I was eligible for a higher benefit on another record. I am going to go to the SS office on Monday as I can’t get anyone on the phone.
          I was also sent a letter that I was not getting credit for earnings in 2014 according to their IRS records. I have a print out from IRS of my earnings but when I spoke to SS I was told to take it in when I applied for my benefits.
          I am just sick to my stomach over all of this.
          If I was told my widow benefits would stop if I didn’t take my own, I would have just went ahead with my own.
          I hope I can get some help to resolve this.

          • R.F.

            Hi Marcia. Unfortunately, your situation 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. Our representatives at your local office should be able to review all of the information and help you resolve this issue soon. Thanks!

      • Rod R.

        Hello Ray. My 72 yr old mother was denied SSI due to receiving $793 from SS, $60 above the threshold. She can barely walk w osteoperosis, has arthritis, and has had multiple heart surgeries. She actually wanted “disability” benefits but was told she was too old.

        • R.F.

          We are sorry to hear about your mother’s medical condition Rod. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs based program that provides cash assistance to the elderly, disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. In 2016, an individual’s monthly SSI benefit amount is $733.00 Also, disability benefits can only be paid to disabled individuals before they reach their full retirement age (currently 66). Your mother may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where she resides. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

    • Free r.

      Go to work or tell your husband or wife to support you better or worse richer or poorer that’s the contract you signed

      • Samantha A.

        Like anybody needs, or wants to hear this tired BS “Go to work or…”. Your have no way of knowing someone else’s circumstance. So I say shut up unless you know all of the facts. Thank you.

        • Annie

          Some people always assume the worst about other people when they don’t know that person’s situation. The people who leave hateful remarks will reap what they sow.

    • Parvaneh

      My husband is 65 years old and he is getting pension credit he i had kidney problem and he is in the witting least for kidney transplant what benefit he can get

      • R.F.

        Hi Parvaneh. We are sorry to hear about your husband’s situation. We may need to ask you or your husband more questions in order to provide you with the information you need at this time, and help you to obtain the help and assistance he needs. Unfortunately and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. One of our representatives should be able to assist you and answer questions about this matter. Thanks.

        • mary p.

          I am 63. I draw widow’s benefits. He passed awat Nov 8 2014. The social security office said in December 2014 I would get two checks the first time,one for Nov andone for Dec 2014. I rec’d one for Dec only with a letter telling me I would get two at the end. End of what exactly? My life? When I have passed? How can I get the November money I was told I am entitled to. I am in dire need. This is not right. Thank you.

          • R.F.

            Hi Mary. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

          • Sheila J.

            I had a conference call with social security last May,2016,
            to ask if I can take my survivor’s benefit from my deceased husband first, even if my own is higher. The answer was yes and I could let my own keep growing and switch over to it later. I am 62 and plan to retire when I am 63.

Comments are closed.