Social Security is important to the source of retirement income for women. But before going for it, it is important to understand how does social security spousal benefits work? As a spouse, you can claim social security benefits based on your own earnings. And can collect spousal benefits in the amount of 50% of your spouse’s social benefit. You can choose any of the given options which provides you higher monthly income.
It should be noted that if you are a higher earner, your spouse can apply to collect spousal benefits from your working records. The file and suspend strategy allows one spouse to go for a retirement benefit at retirement age and suspend receiving the benefit. One of the most important factors in calculating spousal benefits is the age of both the beneficiary.
Eligibility Criteria To Get Social Security Spousal Benefit
- You must be of at least 62 years of age to 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 benefits from the same records. However, there are certain eligibility requirements such as:
- 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 benefits 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 from your second spouse then you can receive benefit from any one of the spouses provided that both the marriages lasted for at least 10 years.
- You must be 62 years old. If your spouse is not alive then you can avail of benefits at the age of 60. Further, if your spouse is deceased and you are handicapped, you can avail of benefits at 50 years of age.
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 gone and you re-marry before the minimum eligible age you cannot receive benefits.
If you remarry after the age of 60 then you are eligible to get the benefits of your deceased spouse. 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 of the benefit of both.
Another 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 the application take 20 minutes to complete and is simple to apply. Also one can apply by phone or at the nearest social security administration office.