Retroactivity involves all months before the month of filing that the claimant is
eligible to receive benefits. Our decision to allow retroactivity depends on:
whether we reduce benefits for age.
Depending on the claim situation, retroactivity could affect the number holder’s (NH)
Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) and the eligibility date for Medicare or other eligible
The NH protects the filing date of auxiliaries on his or her claim by listing them
on the application. Therefore, an auxiliary who files timely has a protective filing
date that is the same as the NH's application filing date, which therefore changes
the auxiliary benefits.
Effective January 1, 1991, section 5116 of the Public Law (P.L.) 101-508 eliminated two situations when we could pay retroactive reduced benefits. Retroactive reduced benefits
are no longer payable when:
The NH is filing for retirement benefits and an unreduced auxiliary (but not an independently
entitled divorced spouse) is entitled; or
We charge off excess earnings to service months before the month of filing.
NOTE: When applicable, advise the claimant that payment of retroactive benefits will result
in a permanently lower ongoing monthly benefit amount.