Can I collect spousal benefits now and switch to my own benefits later?

Published: February 1, 2023

Full question: Can I collect my ex husband’s Social Security now at age 66. We were married 20 years. Then switch to mine at 70 years old to get the most I can get?

Hi there,

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

The “restricted application” in which you can take a spousal or ex spousal benefit early and then switch to your own benefit is no longer allowed after the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

This was phased out for people born after January 1, 1954.

The standard rule of “deemed filing” now applies to all couples. This means that when you file for benefits you are deemed to be filing for all benefits you are eligible for and will only receive the higher of the benefit amounts.

Best of luck,

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