Claiming Spousal Benefits From Social Security: How It Works
When a worker files for benefits from Social Security, the workers spouse may be able to claim a benefit based on the workers contributions. For spouses to receive the benefit, they must be at least age 62 or care for a child under age 16 . In addition, spouses cannot claim the spousal benefit until the worker files for her or his benefit.
There are other important caveats about the spousal benefit as well.
What Is The Maximum Spousal Social Security Benefit
The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of the amount that the spouse is eligible to receive at full retirement age. That’s a cap, by the way. If your spouse delays retiring until 70, the spouse gets more, but you don’t.
Survivors may receive up to 100% of the deceased person’s Social Security amount. There’s a complicated formula for families in which more than one dependent is eligible for benefits. It caps the maximum.
If An Insured Worker Becomes Disabled Or Dies While Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits A Spouse Or Divorced Spouse Can Receive Benefits If The Spouse Cares For At Least One Child Of The Disabled Worker Who Is Under Age 16 Or Over 16 And Disabled
If the disabled child is over age 22, they must have become disabled before age 22. These benefits are called mothers or fathers benefits. If the spouse continues to care for a disabled child after age 16, the spouse may still receive benefits, but the spouse must explain to Social Security that they have parental responsibility for the child to continue benefits. The ten-year marriage requirement does not apply to divorced spouses for mothers or fathers benefits.
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How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits
The amount of ones Social Security spousal benefit depends on multiple factors. These factors include ones age, the maximum benefit received by ones spouse, and whether one is eligible for other benefits.
Overall, the maximum benefit claim amount for spouses is 50% of the primary beneficiarys total benefits. However, there are other factors that affect this percentage.
For example, if you do not have a disabled child to care for, or you fall within some social security exception, it may be more difficult to claim spousal until your working spouse claims retirement benefits. If you are 62 years old or more, you can claim spousal benefits.
The amount given to a surviving spouse or a divorced spouse is determined based partially on whether the spouse is taking care of the deceased persons children. The amount given to the spouse can be between 75% to 100%of the deceased workers monthly earnings.
In other cases, where a disabled worker dies while getting his disability benefits, the spouse may be able to obtain death benefits. However, SSA will first verify numerous details before providing any benefits.
If your spouse is disabled and alive, you can receive almost half of the disabled workers primary insurance amount. If the children of a disabled person are getting benefits, and the spouse also applies for the same, the disability benefits for spouse may be issued accordingly.
Determining Eligibility For Spousal Benefits
If your spouse is receiving SSDI, you may be entitled to spousal benefits if you meet these requirements:
- You are at least 62 years of age ,
- you are caring for your spouses minor child , or
- you are caring for your spouses disabled child
In some instances, individuals may not meet the threshold for care of a child, even if they reside with the child. To better understand how the Social Security Administration defines care, click here.
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Get The Support You Need From Our Ssd Team
Our law firm is responsive and supportive and helps you through every phase of the disability application process. Previous clients share the following about our services:
- This law firm was very professional and stayed in touch with me throughout the disability process. I received my disability on the first try because of their expert knowledge. Thank you for a job well done. Scott Curtis
- I would highly recommend Farmer & Morris for any legal services. They recently helped me with my disability claim, and they provided excellent care and serviceI will definitely use them for any future legal matters. Alyssia
Helping you fight for the benefits you deserve is a priority for our firm. See what other clients say about their experience with our SSD team on our testimonials page and in our .
Eligibility For Ssdi Spousal Benefits
Some requirements must be followed if a spouse wishes to qualify for SSDI spousal benefits. The person expecting to receive compensation must be a spouse to the Social Security disability insurance recipient for a complete year. The spouse should not be collecting Social Security disability on their own
Additionally, if the spouse is looking after a child who is under the age of 16 or a child that is disabled, they may be eligible for the compensation. However, note that the child must be related to the retired or disabled recipient receiving SSDI benefits.
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When And How To Apply
The key to getting the maximum Social Security benefit is in knowing your specific benefits as individuals and in timing when you file as a couple.
You can first apply for Social Security if you are no more than three months away from age 62. But your benefits increase significantly if you wait until you reach full retirement age, which can be 66 or 67, depending on your year of birth.
To apply for spousal benefits, go to the Social Security Administration website. There you will find links to apply online and numbers to call to apply over the phone or to make an appointment at your local Social Security office.
The website also has lots of information about how to maximize the amount you can collecting. SSA also offers an online calculator to estimate your potential spousal benefit.
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Work For At Least 35 Years
The Social Security Administration uses your 35 highest-earning years to calculate your primary insurance amount , which is the monthly benefit amount you receive as of your full retirement age. If youâve worked fewer than 35 years, Social Security uses zeroes in the calculation for the non-earning years.
That means beneficiaries with fewer than 35 years of income can make a big difference in the size of their benefit by continuing to work and getting some of the zeroes replaced with positive income numbers.
Brotman also suggests strategically increasing your yearly income, if possible, to help maximize your future benefits.
âThe first $142,800 of income is subject to Social Security taxation and also used to calculate future benefits,â he notes. âIf you are earning less than that figure, consider a second job or side hustle to increase your contributions into the system and youâll be setting yourself up for a larger future benefit.â
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Identify Ssds Spousal Benefits
Benefits.gov: Your Path to Government Benefits identifies the criteria you must meet to qualify for SSDs spousal insurance benefits. Spousal benefits are designed to meet the needs of a workers spouse if the worker receives SSD benefits. You qualify if:
- You were married for at least one year
- You are at least 62 years old
- Your SSD benefits are not more highly valued than your spouses
Our SSD attorney will help you prove you qualify for spousal benefits, prepare your application, and explain the benefits of tapping into your spouses benefits while waiting to request your own.
For a legal consultation, call
What If We Do Not Qualify For Ssdi
You and your spouse may qualify for SSI benefits even if you live together. You must both meet the disability and income requirements, though.
SSI does not only consider your individual income it takes other forms of household income into account, including your spouses SSDI or SSI benefits. If both you and your spouse have SSI benefits, both of you may see a reduction of benefits if you live in the same household. You may no longer qualify for SSI benefits if your spouse gets SSDI and your household exceeds the SSI limit.
If your spouse qualifies for SSDI but you lack the necessary work historybut you meet the other program qualificationsit may be possible to get approval for SSI if you meet the income and resources guidelines. Our attorneys can determine if you qualify in this situation.
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Amount Of Spousal Disability Benefits
If the disabled worker is still living, a spouse generally receives 50% of the disabled worker’s primary insurance amount , although if the disabled worker’s children are collecting benefits at the same time, the spouse’s benefit can be reduced. The total of the spouse’s benefit and the children’s benefit cannot be greater than the maximum family benefit, which is generally 150% of the disabled worker’s monthly SSDI benefit.
The amount a surviving spouse will receive depends on how old the spouse is and whether the spouse is taking care of the deceased worker’s children. The amount varies between 75% and 100% of the deceased worker’s monthly amount.
In addition, if a disabled worker dies while receiving Social Security benefits, the surviving spouse will receive a death benefit worth several hundred dollars if the surviving spouse was living in the same household.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Spousal Benefits
When you contact the SSA to apply for spousal benefits, you will need the following documents:
- Social Security number
- Information about any previous marriages
Its understandable if you have questions about the requirements for spousal benefits. The Robertson Wendy Disability Finkel Law Firm, LLC can help you gather all the information youll need to apply. Well treat you and your family with the care and respect you deserve.
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Delay Claiming Social Security Benefits
The simplest way to increase your monthly payments is to delay claiming Social Security benefits. The Social Security Agency allows all Americans to start benefits at the early retirement age of 62, but doing so can reduce your monthly payment paycheck.
If you choose to begin receiving Social Security early, for each month there is between when you start and your full retirement age you lose about half a percentage point of the total value you would have earned if youâd waited.
You could miss out on up to 30% of the monthly payment youâd be entitled to at your full retirement age by starting early. If you would receive a monthly benefit of $1,500 at your full retirement age of 67, for instance, starting benefits early at age 62 would reduce that amount to $1,050.
Waiting to start Social Security benefits until after your full retirement age can boost your monthly benefit. According to Eric D. Brotman, CEO of BFG Financial Advisors, there is an 8% annual increase in benefits due for each year you wait from full retirement age through 70.
That means the $1,500 benefit at age 67 could increase by 24% to $1,860 per month if you wait until 70âthatâs the age at which you must begin payments. Just donât wait until after age 70 to start payments.
Different Social Security Rules Apply If You’re Claiming Benefits As A Spouse
If you’re married — or divorced after at least 10 years of marriage — you have more choices when it comes to your Social Security checks. Specifically, you may be better off claiming spousal benefits based on your husband or wife’s work, record rather than claiming your own benefit.
Opting for spousal benefits will usually net you more money if your partner was a higher earner than you. But there are a few special rules that apply to these benefits that you need to know about. Here are three of them.
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Divorced Spouses Survivors Benefit
If a disabled worker dies and was receiving Social Security benefits at the time of death, a divorced spouse is entitled to benefits in either of the following circumstances:
- The surviving divorced spouse is 60 years old or older.
- The surviving divorced spouse is disabled and between 50 and 60.
Just like the spouses surviving benefit, if the surviving divorced spouse remarries before age 60, the benefits will be denied unless the spouse was between 50 and 60 AND disabled at the time of the marriage.
The Need For A Reliable Local Attorney
Aside from helping with the disability application paperwork that must be submitted to the social security office, disability attorneys can help in several other ways.
For one, they can look closely into the details of the case and help claimants ensure that they are correctly filing a disability claim. It is important to keep in mind that each disability claim is unique. For instance, in the case of medical disability, social security disability lawyers can speak to your doctor regarding your medical condition and assist in requesting medical records. When necessary, he or she can make proper use of medical evidence to effectively advocate your case.
More than helping you fill out forms necessary when you apply for disability, your social security attorney can explain to you how your circumstances can affect the actual social security benefits you may be entitled to receive. Applying for benefits can take some time, and a professional social security disability attorney will stay connected even during the waiting period.
If you are planning to apply for social security or have questions on the application process for SSDI spousal benefit, give us a call. No two disability cases are alike, and each SSDI application is scrutinized and evaluated very carefully. If you are applying for social security, regardless of the form, get the services of a trusted disability law firm. Contact us at E Orum Young and consult with a trusted Monroe social security disability attorney.
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How Much Dependents Can Receive
A dependent may be eligible for up to 50% of the amount of the disability benefits received by the disabled individual. However, there is a family limit on benefits. Social Security will only pay 150-180% of the disabled individual’s benefits for the entire family the exact percentage is determined by a formula by Social Security. If the amount that the family would receive is above that limit, the benefits to the dependent family members are reduced equally.
Let’s look at an example of a family of four where the husband is the sole earner. If the husband were to become disabled, the two children would be eligible to receive up to 50% each of his SSDI disability benefits. The wife would also be eligible for up to 50% of her husband’s disability benefits because her children are receiving disability and she is caring for them. However, if all of the family members received the amount they were fully eligible for, Social Security would be paying 250% of the husband’s disability benefit to the family . Therefore, Social Security would reduce the wife and two children’s payments equally so the total family benefit was within the range of 150-180% of the husband’s awarded disability benefit. The husband’s benefit would not be reduced.
To learn more, visit our section on Social Security dependents benefits.
You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month In SSDI Benefits
The Rules Changed In 2015 Here’s What You Need To Know Now
If you have never worked or paid Social Security taxes , you won’t be eligible to claim Social Security retirement benefits on your own account. However, you may be able to receive spousal benefits through your spouse’s account. You can file a claim under their account as early as age 62, as long as your spouse has already filed to collect their own benefits. You will also be able to apply for Medicare health coverage at age 65.
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Spousal Social Security Rules
For many working couples, both partners will be eligible to collect individual benefits. However, that does not preclude either person from collecting under the other person’s account. When you apply for benefits, both accounts will be checked to determine which claim will result in a higher benefit amount.
If your own benefit is larger, you will automatically receive that amount. If your spousal benefit is larger, you will receive a combination of benefits that total that amount.
While you can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62, your benefit will be permanently reduced from what you would receive at your full or “normal” retirement age. Full retirement age, for Social Security purposes, is between 66 and 67, depending on your year of birth.
One exception: If you are caring for your spouse’s child who is under age 16 or who receives Social Security disability benefits, you can collect spousal benefits at any age without a reduction.
In addition, if you decide to claim before full retirement age, your benefit amount may be reduced if you continue working, depending on how much you earn. Eligibility for government, foreign, or public service pensions may also affect your payments.
If you wait until full retirement age to claim benefits, you’ll receive the maximum amount you can collect as a spouse. That is equal to 50% of your spouse’s benefit amount.
The benefits claiming strategy known as “file and suspend” has been totally eliminated.