Advanced Underwriting Consultants

Ask the Experts – April 28

Ask the Experts!

The professionals at Advanced Underwriting Consultants (AUC) answer the tax and technical questions posed by producers.  Here’s the question of the day.

Question: My client is age 66 and has a $2,400 monthly Social Security benefit. His wife, age 62, has been a resident alien for the past 30 years, but has no work record to collect Social Security. Can his wife collect Social Security spousal benefits on behalf of her husband’s work record?

Answer: Yes, a resident alien can collect spousal benefits under the normal spousal benefit rules as long as the alien is lawfully present in the United States. However, benefits are generally suspended if the alien is outside of the United States for six consecutive months, but certain exceptions might apply.

Therefore, your client’s wife would be entitled to $1,200 in spousal benefits at her own full retirement age, 66. If she decided to file for benefits now, at age 62, she would receive a 25% reduction (assuming she’s exactly 62 years old), resulting in a $300 decrease, or a $900 total spousal benefit.

Have a question for the professionals at AUC?  Feel welcome to submit it by email.  We may post your question and the answer as the question of the day.