By: Doug Nguyen
With more than 80 years of service, the Social Security Administration has helped secure today and tomorrow with fi nancial benefi ts, information, and tools that support you throughout life’s journey. In May, we recognize Older Americans month and we encourage you to participate by learning about available Social Security benefi ts. Did you know that you may be able to receive benefi ts on your spouse’s record if you have not worked or do not have enough Social Security credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefi ts? To qualify for spouse’s benefi ts, you must be:
o 62 years of age or older; or
o Any age and care for a child who is younger than age 16 or who is disabled and entitled to receive benefi ts on your spouse’s record.
Your full spouse’s benefi t could be up to one-half the amount your spouse is entitled to receive at their full retirement age. If you choose to receive spouse’s benefi ts before you reach full retirement age, you will get a permanently reduced benefi t.
If you wait until you reach full retirement age to receive benefi ts, you will receive your full spouse’s benefi t amount – up to half the amount your spouse can receive. You will also get your full spouse’s benefi t if you care for a child who is younger than age 16 or who has a disability and is entitled to receive benefi ts on your spouse’s record.
If your benefi ts as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefi ts, you will get a combination of benefi ts that equal the higher spouse benefi t. For example, Sandy qualifi es for a retirement benefi t of $250 and a spouse’s benefi t of $400. At her full retirement age, she will receive her own $250 retirement benefi t. We will add $150 from her spouse’s benefi t, for a total of $400.
Want to apply for either your or your spouse’s benefi ts? Are you at least 61 years and 8 months old? Visit www.ssa.gov/benefi ts/ retirement to learn more about the process.
Are you divorced, but your marriage lasted at least 10 years? You may be able to get benefi ts on your former spouse’s record. Explore more about your eligibility by visiting our Benefi ts Planner page at www.ssa.gov/planners/ retire/divspouse.html for more information. # # #