No, not if your former spouse is living. If you claim benefits before full retirement age you will always collect benefits on your own record first. If you are eligible for a higher benefit on an ex-spouse's record, you will receive a combination of benefits equal to the higher amount. Claiming early will permanently reduce both benefits. However, if you were born before January 2, 1954 and you delay benefits until full retirement age, this strategy becomes possible. When you reach full retirement age you can file a restricted application for the spousal benefit and delay filing for your own to earn delayed retirement credits, increasing your benefit by 8% for each year you delay, up to age 70.
If you were born after January 1, 1954, you have to file for your own benefit first, even if you have reached full retirement age.
Discounts & Benefits
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