1514.Claimant May Restrict Retroactivity

1514.1Can you restrict your right to retroactive benefits?

Yes. You may restrict any retroactive right to benefits. Make your request in writing at any time before we make a decision on your application.

1514.2Why might you want to restrict your right to retroactive benefits?

We do not use “waived” months in computing the reduction factor. (See §723.) This may result in a higher benefit amount for later months. You may want to give up benefits for certain months in order to receive somewhat higher benefits later on.

1514.3What benefits may you NOT exclude from your application?

If you are age 65 or older, you must file for Medicare Part A if filing for any monthly benefit. Following the rules for deemed filing, if you are eligible for both retirement insurance benefits and spouse’s insurance benefits you must apply for both and cannot restrict your application to only one benefit when you are born:

  • January 2, 1954 or later and eligibility for both benefits exists in any month; or

  • Before January 2, 1954, under your full retirement age, and eligibility for both benefits exisits in the first MOET to either benefit.

1514.4Can you change your decision to restrict retroactivity?

In certain cases, you may change your decision to restrict retroactivity. For example, if you discover that earnings in the year were more or less than you expected, you can change the month of entitlement to any month within the retroactive period of the original application. However, any other beneficiary who would lose some or all of those benefits because of such a change must agree to it in writing. Also, any benefits that were paid based on entitlement cancelled by the change must be repaid.

Last Revised: Sept. 23, 2016