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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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There are 4 Comments

I am 74 years old. I was offered a full time position with benefits at the age of 71. The county agency I was employed by stated that I had to opt out of Part B because I and my spouse would be receiving full benefits from them. Three years later-I am scheduled to retire August 1 and have contacted SSA, filled out forms, the County has filled out forms, and I have talked with agents and still no Part B. My spouse will need Part B to obtain a Medicare Supplement - I will need Part B to receive my health care through my pension. This should be a special election time for me, yet SSA does not recognize it as such. I guess older citizens should not return to the workplace where they receive benefits.

I am currently working with a client who is going through a divorce.

This client was under his wife's insurance plan so originally opted out of Plan B. However, now that he will be dropped from his wife's insurance plan how can he re-apply for part B.

He currently has part A coverage.

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