Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits Only…A Strategy Still Available

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 changed much of the strategic landscape for seniors, specifically with respect to options like “File and Suspend,” the rules for deemed filing, and so on. But one specific filing strategy that remains in effect is still an attractive option for some filers–the Restricted Application (RA). Even though this strategy remains available, it is gradually being phased out due to the limitations placed on it in 2015.

RA is simply a method for someone to apply for Social Security benefits but restrict the scope of that application to something other than their own benefits. Most commonly, the RA is used (by those eligible) to apply for spousal benefits only, while allowing their own retirement benefit to grow via delayed retirement credits (DRCs). RA filers can then switch to their own benefit later, after the DRCs have added to the benefit amount.

The actual application of the RA, including the eligibility rules, are covered in an article posted by Karen Demasters today on, which you can access here… It’s a source of confusion to many folks, so if you need guidance to determine if this strategy might work for your individual situation, you might want to contact the Amac Foundation‘s Social Security Advisory Service. This service, which you can learn more about here, is offered free to the public, with trained and certified Social Security Advisors available to help you via phone call or email.


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