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Oct 26, 2011

Answer To Quiz

Question: Mrs. D's husband died in 1999. The two had been married for 27 years. He was fully insured at the time he died. On September 6, 2011 Mrs. D files a claim for widow's benefits on the basis of age rather than disability. She is 62 at the time. She had stopped work on December 31, 2009. When does Mrs. D's entitlement to widow's benefits on account of age begin?

Possible Answers:
  • January 2010
  • September 2010
  • March 2011
  • October 2011
Correct answer: March 2011.
     Some of you have raised the question of whether Mrs. D should elect a later month of entitlement. That is a reasonable question. Mrs. D's widow's benefits are subject to an actuarial reduction. The earlier she goes on benefits, the less she gets a month. It may be wiser for Mrs. D to elect to start benefits now rather than retroactively. She will get no back benefits but she will get more per month for every month into the future. This option should be discussed with Mrs. D -- one of the many things that can't be done online. I should have phrased the question to read "What is the earliest possible month of entitlement?" But honestly, if you knew enough to quibble with the question, you knew what I was getting at!

Update: I knew this was going to happen eventually. You're right. I got it wrong. The month of entitlement would be September 2011. I was confused since it is done differently with aged widows than disabled widows. I thought I remembered an aged widow client of mine getting back benefits but I must be misremembering.


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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Presumably, Charles is using 404.621 (a)(2) to support the contention that reduced WIB can be retroactive for 6 months. The problem is (a)(2) is qualified by (a)(3) which provides no retroactivity for age-reduced benefits. Neither of the 2 exceptions in (a)(4)(i) or (a)(4)(ii) apply.
    There is also another exception that allows a 6 month period of retroactivity if the widow is subject to the "RIB-lim" which means the deceased husband was receiving reduced benefits before he died. That also does not apply to the facts provided.

    Mike Walters

    8:52 AM, October 26, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    There is no retroactive entitlement for beneficiaries reduced for age. Correct answer is 9/11, the month of filing.

    9:36 AM, October 26, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This answer is incorrect. Please see postings above and the comments on the original question. As you previously said, some people don't know as much as they think they do! :-)

    12:39 PM, October 26, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have to weigh in as well. Mike Walters is absolutely correct. Widow's benefits reduced for age carry no retroactivity unless one of the specific exceptions apply.

    8:22 AM, October 27, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This was my revenge on Charles for the DLI quiz, wherein a QC was moved from the first quarter to the last quarter of the year. That one tripped me up. Mike Walters

    11:25 AM, October 27, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you may have remembered some one in the past. there used to be retro benefits paid but that was stopped many years ago.

    5:24 PM, October 27, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I agree with Anonymous 5:24. In the past retroactivity of reduced benefits was possible, or your client may have met one of the specific exceptions that allowed retroactivity.

    8:37 AM, October 28, 2011  

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