Social Security is important source of retirement income for women. But before going for it, it is important to understand how does social security spousal benefit work? As a spouse you can claim social security benefit based on your own earnings or can collect spousal benefit in the amount of 50% of your spouse’s social benefit. You can choose any of the given option which provides you higher monthly income. It should be noted that if you are higher earner, your spouse can apply to collect spousal benefit from your working records. File and suspend strategy is a strategy that allows one spouse to go for retirement benefit at retirement age and suspend receiving the benefit. One of the most important factor in calculating spousal benefit is the age of both the beneficiary.
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Eligibility criteria to get social security spousal benefit
- You must be of at least 62 years of age except in the case where you carry your deceased spouse’s child.
- Your spouse must be drawing their retirement benefit for you to be eligible for spousal benefits.
A divorced spouse can on their ex-spouse’s social security record irrespective of the fact that they are married and their current spouse is getting benefit from same records. However there are certain eligibility requirements such as:
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- You must have married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years.
- Your ex-spouse must be eligible to have benefits and is currently receiving benefit then only you would be able to qualify for social security spousal benefit
- You must not be currently married and if you are married and divorced to your second spouse then you can receive benefit from any one of the spouse provided that both the marriages lasted for at least 10 years.
- You must be of 62 years old. If your spouse is deceased then you can avail benefits at the age of 60. Further if your spouse is deceased and you are handicapped, you can avail benefits at the age of 50 years of age.
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For the surviving spouse, if your spouse passes away, you can collect survivor’s benefit at an age of 60. You are eligible to receive benefits based on his or her security benefit amount. If your ex-spouse is deceased and you re-marry before the minimum eligible age you cannot receive benefits unless the second marriage ends. If you remarry after the age of 60 then you are eligible to get the benefits of your deceased spouse’s social security records. But if your current spouse is a social security beneficiary and you are able to receive a higher amount from your second spouse’s work record then you can apply to receive benefits from your second spouse’s work records but you can not avail benefit of both.
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Other important thing here is irrespective of your age and marital status if you carry your deceased spouse’s child then you are eligible to receive benefits for raising them until the child is 16 years of age.
How to apply for spousal benefit?
You can apply online as application take 20 minutes to complete and is simple to apply. Also one can apply by phone or at nearest social security administration office.