• Question
  • Delayed Social Security benefit question

    Asked by someone from San Diego, CA on 3/22/2013

    I reached full retirement age in January, 2012, but did not apply Social Security until June, 2012, and my benefit began in July,2012. I was told when I applied that I could either receive a lump sum payment for the first six months of 2012 or my benefit would be increased by 3.96% in January of 2013 if I did not take the lump sum. I chose the higher benefit, but it did not materialize. Now the person I spoke to at Social Security denies that I was eligible for any increased benefit for having waited 6 months beyond my full retirement age. She said that I would have had to wait a whole year to see an increased benefit. Do you know if this is true?

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  • Categories: Pay Back and Restart, Social Security

Answers

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  • I have found that over the years, the IRS has made several corrections to my own Social Secrity benefits by making a deposit at the beginning of the year. No one seems to be able to tell me why, so I believe that the people that answer the phones in the SSA are slaves to a computer program that does all of the calculations--and they don't understand the rules.

    That said, If I were you, I'd take advantage of the rule that lets you pay back all of the SS payments credited to you and start again in a later year. You can do this if you make the repayment before one year has lapsed since you started payments. The repayment has to include any Medicare deductions. In almost every instance, it's better for people in good health to start SS as late as possible, up to age 70 if savings permit, particularly for a spouse who would get 100% of the deceased spouse's benefit.

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 3/25/2013
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.