Understanding Social Security and Medicare flipbook 2024

Retroactive Benefits If you postpone claiming Social Security retirement benefits past your full retirement age, you can request a lump-sum payment for up to 6 months of retroactive benefits. However, your monthly benefit will be reduced for the rest of your life, because you will forgo the delayed retirement credits earned during that period. Benefits paid to your survivors may also be lower. “Do Over” or “Reset” If you regret taking a permanently reduced Social Security benefit before reaching full retirement age, you can apply to withdraw benefits within 12 months of making the original claim for benefits. However, you must repay all benefits you and your spouse have received. This option is available only once in your lifetime. “Start, Stop, Restart” If you have already started receiving benefits and would prefer to stop them in order to receive higher benefits later, you can ask Social Security to suspend future benefits and restart them at a later date. To request this action, you must have reached full retirement age. Keep in mind that your spouse cannot receive spousal benefits during the time when your benefits are suspended. Social Security Claiming Strategies