The Social Security Spousal Benefits claim of my wife was denied. Why was this?

Today's Social Security column discusses when spousal benefits are not payable, 

What options are available when SSA withholds benefits due to an alleged overpayment and how to get survivor's benefits. 

Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc.

Why Was My Wife's Claim For Social Security Spousal Benefits Denied?

My wife filed for her Social Security retirement benefit at 64 in 2016 and I filed for a spouse benefit at 66, 

My full retirement age. Currently, her benefit is $1,175 and my PIA is $1,375.

Now that I am 70, I have filed and received my increased benefit. However, my wife's application for a spouse benefit was denied?

Can you tell me what I'm missing? Thank you, William

If a person is already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, when they apply for spousal benefits, 

Their unreduced spousal rate is calculated by subtracting their own primary insurance amount (PIA) from

50% of their spouse's PIA. When a person reaches full retirement age (FRA), their PIA equals their 

Social Security retirement benefit rate. Spousal benefits are not payable if the difference is negative.

In your description, your wife's PIA appears to be well over half yours, in which case she wouldn't be

Eligible for spousal benefits, though she might qualify for a widow's benefit if you predeceased her. My best wishes, Larry

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