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Social Security Q&A

Strategies for Couples in Choosing How to Receive Social Security Explored in SSA Q&A

Also, how long does it take to get a replacement Social Security card?

Nov. 14, 2013 - There are various strategies on how you receive your Social Security benefits. How to delay your benefits and receive them as a spouse is one of the answers in this weeks Q&A by Oscar Garcia, Informational Specialist with the Social Security Administration. And, he has an easy but important answers about how fast you can replace your card.


How long does it take to receive a replacement Social Security card? I need it because I am applying for a job, and my employer needs to see the card.


After we receive your application and verify your documents, you should receive your replacement Social Security card by mail within 10 business days.

If you do not receive the replacement card in this time frame, please contact your local Social Security office for follow-up instructions. To verify if a replacement card has been issued, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, or you can contact your local Social Security office.

When you request the replacement card at our office, you can ask for a receipt showing your name and Social Security number. You can present the receipt to your employer to see if they will accept it until you can present them with the actual replacement card.


Archived Social Security Q&A


Social Security Getting Questions About Returning to Work

Also questions about disability, benefits for children and working for federal government

Oct. 29, 2013

When to Start Social Security Asked Often; What Happens When You Do Not Return Overpayment

There is an easy way and then there are options a little tougher for SSA to recover any overpayment

Sept. 20, 2013

Social Security Joins Others in Government to Meet Supreme Court Order on Same Sex Marriage

Social Security Q&A author also reminds seniors there is help available to pay for Medicare

Sept. 11, 2013

Why contribute to Social Security that will not be around when 30-year-old retires?

And, there are easier questions answered by SSA's Oscar Garcia that apply to benefits, which are a lot more important to most senior citizens

Aug. 1, 2013

Read more Social Security News

also check Medicare and Senior Politics



My wife and I are both full retirement age and neither of us has applied for Social Security benefits. I have heard about a way to delay my Social Security retirement and receive benefits as a spouse. What is this all about?


This is possible.  If you are full retirement age, and your spouse begins receiving Social Security benefits, you can choose to file and receive benefits on just your spouse's Social Security record and delay filing for benefits on your own record up until age 70.

By filing for just benefits as a spouse, you may receive a higher retirement benefit on your own record later based on the effect of delayed retirement credits. You can earn delayed retirement credits up to age 70 as long as you do not collect your own benefits. 

This strategy allows a person to receive benefits as a spouse while allowing their own benefit to reach its maximum potential.

Here is another option, since you are both at full retirement age, one of you can apply for retirement benefits now and have the payments suspended, while the other applies only for spouse's benefits on the record of the spouse who has suspended their benefit.

This means only one of you is receiving a monthly benefit, but it allows both of you to delay receiving retirement benefits on your own records so you can earn delayed retirement credits. You can then both apply at age 70 to receive your respective full benefit amounts plus the delayed retirement credits.

To learn more about delayed retirement credits, visit our website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/delayret.htm. Every situation is different, so be sure to visit with Social Security to find out about all your options. 

Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at Oscar.h.garcia@ssa.gov.


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