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What are Life Changing Events?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2507. What are Life Changing Events?

There will be cases when a beneficiary or the spouse of a beneficiary will have experienced one or more events causing a significant reduction in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). A "significant" reduction in MAGI is a reduction that decreases or eliminates the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) for a specific year. A beneficiary who has experienced a life-changing event that caused a significant reduction in MAGI may request SSA to make a new initial determination using a more recent tax year than the tax year used previously.

A life changing event can be one or more of the following seven events:

  • Death of Spouse

  • Marriage

  • Divorce or annulment

  • Work reduction

  • Work stoppage

  • Loss of income from income-producing property

  • Loss or reduction of certain forms of pension income.

Last Revised: May 22, 2007

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