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Understanding Social Security’s “Do Over” Option

According to some analyses, age 62 remains the most popular age for claiming Social Security benefits. There are reasons why this is a good option for some folks, but many may just exercise the option because it’s available to them. Some folks claim at 62 and then realizde the reduction their facing in their monthly benefits, and then wish they could undo the decision. Well, you can, but there’s a major restriction. The Motley Fool’s Maurie Backman expains this in a post today on their website. Check it out here…


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Comments On This Topic

  1. I collected widows benefits at 62, and then switched over to my own ss at 70. Can I do a dover to increase my dollars each month.

    • Annette,
      If you collected a survivor benefit starting at age 60 and then switched to your own higher personal SS retirement benefit at age 70, you are already receiving the maximum benefit you are entitled to. Your SS retirement benefit achieves maximum at age 70, and a “do over” (with a purpose of delaying your benefits) wouldn’t get you anything more. In fact, if you’ve been collecting your SS retirement benefit for more than 12 months, you cannot exercise the so-called “do over option” anyway. So, the answer to your question is that you are already receiving the maximum benefit you’re entitled to, and a “do over” (even if you can) wouldn’t result in any higher benefit.
      Russell Gloor
      National Social Security Advisor
      The AMAC Foundation

      • Sherie,
        If your husband has been collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for 5 years, his benefit amount will not increase as he ages except for any Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which may be awarded each year. Your husband’s SSDI benefit amount was based upon the full amount of SS retirement benefit he had earned up to the point he became disabled, so he is technically already receiving the benefit he would be due at his full retirement age (FRA). When your husband reaches his full retirement age of 66 years and 6 months, his SSDI benefit will automatically convert to his SS retirement benefit at the same amount he was receiving on SSDI. That change is essentially transparent to your husband; it is more of an accounting change made by Social Security to pay his benefits from the normal retirement Trust Fund rather than from the Disability Trust Fund.
        Russell Gloor
        National Social Security Advisor
        The AMAC Foundation

  2. [ just became aware of the DO OVER program offered by the Social Security Administration I was forced to take my Social Security at age 62 because of my Employer, McLouth Steel going bankrupt in 1996. I had forty years straight at McLouth and ended up getting $425.73 per month after McLouth borrowed from its Non Union Employees Pension Fund and never paid back. I’m 83 now and draw $1408.oo per month. I am very interested in increasing my monthly income from Social Security that I have been receiving for the past 21 years. There is no way that I could repay the money that I have received in 21 years and I’m praying that there are other options available to help me? Should I apply for assistance from a Social Security Expert to help me with my situation? Thank You, Billy R. Boulware.

    • Billy:

      Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, Social Security’s “do over” option is only available for a year from the time you file for a retirement benefit.

      Gerry Hafer
      AMAC Foundation, Inc.

      CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The opinions and interpretations expressed in this message are the viewpoints of the message’s author, a trained advisor accredited under the National Social Security Advisors program of the National Social Security Association, LLC (NSSA). The author, the NSSA, and the AMAC Foundation are not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Government, the Social Security Administration, or any other state government.

  3. I fully understand and agree on the explanation about retiring at age 62 and deciding it was a mistake because there is a 25% reduced benefits even after they reached regular retirement age. Refunding or returning the full amount back to start over on the regular retirement age of 65 or 66 as a “do over”. (As explained by Sharon Kleczka, AMAC)

    There is another explanation that I have read about retirees who instead of reaching the regular retirement age withheld their receiving retirement benefits until required or purposely obligated to receive their retirement benefits upon reaching the age of 70 because accordingly instead of receiving 100% they receive more up to 138%!? So, if you actually filed and have or had been receiving or received at the start of your regular retirement age 65 or 66 and you want or actually need to increase your retirement benefits, is to apply for a “do over” by refunding or returning the total amount you received starting below age 70 down, about 5 years. My question is,,, IS THIS CORECT?! or actually refund and return all the amount, in my case about 12 years worth now. Maybe I can try the 5-year but hardly can I afford the 12-year plus. I will appreciate anyone or anybody who are knowledgeable on this matter to provide the right and correction explanations not only for me but definitely from or to all who are interested. Thank you very much.

    • No, what you suggest is not correct. The “do over” option can only be done within 12 months of first filing for early Social Security benefits. But, if someone files for early SS retirement benefits, collects those until they reach their full retirement age. or “FRA”(between 66 and 67, depending on year of birth), once they reach their FRA they can suspend their benefits and earn Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs) until they are 70. DRCs add .667% additional benefit for each full month benefits are suspended (8% per year of suspension), up to age 70. This is not a “do over” option, but rather a suspension of benefits at or after FRA is reached, and there is no need to repay benefits paid earlier. Simply suspended receipt of benefits after FRA will cause the benefit amount to grow until you are 70.
      Russell Gloor
      National Social Security Advisor
      The AMAC Foundation

    • Enda:

      Social Security gives you one year to change your mind about having had filed for your Social Security benefits. What this means is, for example, you filed for your benefits at age 62 and decide you made a mistake by filing early. You have 12 months to contact Social Security and tell them you have made a mistake and want to cancel your benefits. But in doing so, you have to pay back any benefits you have received to date. Social Security will send you a letter telling you how much you have to pay back, and you have to pay it in full. The end result is as if you never filed for your Social Security benefits and would have to reapply again in the future.

      Sharon Kleczka
      AMAC Foundation Inc.

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