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M attained age 65 in February 1963, at which time he applied for and was awarded old age social security insurance benefits. Although social security benefits may be paid retroactively up to twelve months prior to the application date, M waived any and all retroactive benefits because he erroneously believed that his private pension plan would penalize him for receiving such back paid benefits.
When M discovered later that year in November that his pension would not thus penalize him, he sought to modify his benefits application to rescind the waiver. If he had filed a new application and requested the year’s worth of retroactive benefits, his benefits would only have been paid back to November 1962, instead of February 1962.
Luckily for M, there was nothing in the social security law that said a waiver of retroactive benefits was irrevocable. In the absence of such a specific provision making an election irrevocable, M was free to modify his benefits application and request the retroactive benefits back to February 1962.
See Social Security Ruling (SSR) 69-19.
To summarize the lesson we learn from M, as I see it: when the option is available, modify or correct a disadvantageous election rather than refiling the entire application.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.
When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.