Should You Be Receiving a Retroactive Social Security Benefit?

matthew-allen-p15

Almost everyone recognizes that, at some point in their life, they will be eligible for a Social Security benefit.

What many people fail to realize, however, is when and how they should file for Social Security to make sure they are maximizing their benefits.

As a result, often there are retroactive benefits that are available to certain types of beneficiaries.

In the article below, we will highlight some criteria that may indicate you’re eligible for a retroactive Social Security benefit.

The Basics

First, we should cover the basic rules of Social Security retroactive benefits:Social security benefits

  • Retroactivity: an application for Social Security benefits may permit payment of benefits prior to the actual month of filing in certain cases.
  • Rules Vary by Type: The retroactivity rules depending on the type of benefit that you’re eligible for.
  • Retirement and Spousal Benefits: Up to six months of retroactive benefits.
  • Survivor Benefits: Up to six months of retroactive benefits.
  • Child Benefits: Up to six months of retroactive benefits.
  • Disability Benefits: Up to twelve months of retroactive benefits.
  • No Retroactivity for Benefits Reduced for Age: Retirement, Spousal, and Survivor benefits cannot be retroactive if they are reduced for age (i.e., you file or have filed for benefits prior to your Full Retirement Age which is 66 for most people).

Who Qualifies for Retroactive Benefits by Marital Status & Age

  • Single:
    • Beyond 70 and have not claimed.
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most) and have not claimed.
  • Married:
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most), wanting to claim a spousal benefit and have not claimed your own benefit.
    • Beyond 70 and have not claimed.
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most) and have not claimed.
  • Divorced (Were Married at Least 10 Years):
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most), wanting to claim a spousal benefit and have not claimed your own benefit.
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most) and have not claimed any benefit.
  • Survivor:
    • Beyond Full Retirement Age (66 for most) and either have not claimed any benefit yet or have claimed only your own retirement benefit previously.
  • Family:
    • Any of your children under 18 as long as you have already filed for a Social Security benefit.
    • Your spouse (at any age) that is caring for your child under the age of 16 as long as you have already filed for a Social Security benefit.

The Bottom Line

social security coupleMaking the optimal Social Security claiming decision and maximizing your benefits is complicated.

You should work with a Social Security advisor that is an expert in the myriad of strategies that are available to you.

If you are eligible for retroactive Social Security benefits, a Social Security advisor can help you file for those benefits and help you make sure you don’t leave any money on the table.

Whether any of the strategies above are right for you requires careful analysis as each situation is different.

If you would like to schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an advisor, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen is the Co-Founder/CEO of Social Security Advisors and creator of the new course Maximizing Your Social Security produced in conjunction with Weiss Educational Services. Matthew has helped thousands of seniors maximize their Social Security benefits and avoid costly mistakes when filing. Matthew has been at the forefront of financial services for over a decade.