Social Security may return earnings test benefit reductions

Deanna: I’m 64 and currently receiving Social Security survivor benefits. Social Security is holding back approximately half of my benefits because I am working full time. Will I ever get back the money that they’re holding back? I’ve read somewhere that my benefit will increase when I turn 66.

Phil Moeller: If you continue receiving survivor benefits after you retire, you should see your current benefit reductions repaid to you in the form of higher monthly benefits. However, were you to switch to another type of benefit, say your own retirement benefit, this adjustment would disappear. Presumably, your retirement benefit would be larger than your survivor benefit, or else you’d have no reason to switch to it. But you should be aware of this limitation to repayment of benefits affected by Social Security’s earnings test.