Based on your updated information:
Assuming your wife is on SSDI:
Disability benefits end at full retirement age, 66, but are automatically converted to retirement benefits. The monthly benefits continue in the same amount .
So the question. Can someone (your wife) stop the automatic conversion from disability to retirement benefits in order to engage in some creative strategies for claiming Social Security.
Wife's disability benefit, which she has been collecting for several years due to a medical condition that rendered her unable to work, is $1,800. Her husband's retirement benefit at full retirement age is $2,200.
If your wife suspended her disability benefit before her full retirement age, at 66, she could file a restricted claim for spousal benefits only.
The premise being that she could collect $1,100 per month in spousal benefits, while deferring her own retirement benefit until it reached the maximum amount. She would then switch to her own benefit at 70.
Sorry — it doesn't work that way.
Because your wife has been collecting Social Security disability benefits on her own earnings record, she isn't able to file a restricted claim for spousal benefits when she turns 66. That claiming strategy is available only to those who file for benefits for the first time at full retirement age.
Eligible / Entitled
In order to file a restricted claim for spousal benefits, individuals must be eligible for both a retirement benefit on their own record and for spousal benefit at full retirement age.
Eligible for a benefit means that an individual meets all the eligibility criteria but hasn't filed an application for the benefit.
Entitled to a benefit means an individual meets all the eligibility criteria and has filed an application for the benefit.
“Because your wife is now full retirement age and is entitled to her own retirement benefits, that entitlement negates her choice to a restricted claim for spouse's benefit only,
Important!! Social Securiyt questions are difficult and should always be confirmed with your local Social Security Office. I advise my clients to call for a sit down with a Social Security agent and review their opions.
Victor Santucci EA