Are you eligible for spousal Social Security benefits? If you have been married or are currently married, you are likely eligible.
Spouses who spent their working years raising families are entitled to a benefit called the spousal Social Security benefit. The determining factors of the benefits received are when the payments started, personal work history, and the amount of the spouse’s full benefit.
Social Security benefits all come with a set of rules. The following can be expected when applying for spousal Social Security benefits:
- You will receive up to 50 percent of your spouse’s Social Security benefit amount.
- You must be married for at least one year before filing.
- You have to be married for 10 or more years if divorced in the past two years.
- Depending on which is greater, you will either receive benefits based on your work history or the spousal benefit.
How much to expect
The spousal Social Security benefit typically pays 50 percent of the spouse’s benefit at their full retirement age (FRA). You can find more details about how much you will receive at your local Social Security Administration location or on the website.
Personal Social Security benefits and spousal Social Security benefits vary when it comes to delaying payments. When personal benefits are delayed, the amount of the benefit will increase during that time. When it comes to delaying spousal benefits, there is no increase.
While delaying spousal benefits after your FRA does not increase benefits, if you start collecting early, the amount you receive will be lower. If you file early, it will lower your income permanently. In order to receive the most from spousal benefits, be sure to wait until you have reached your FRA.