Social Security Benefits For Spouses Who Work - If you qualify for a spouse's Social Security benefits, the amount you receive depends on a number of factors, including your age, the amount of your spouse's benefits, and whether you have other retirement benefits available to you. Who is eligible? Anyone whose spouse, ex-spouse or deceased spouse was or is eligible for benefits when you reach the eligibility age is eligible.
The maximum amount you can receive is 50% of your spouse's full benefit. It's obvious enough, but the exact amount you get and when you get it depends on several circumstances, including your spouse's age, work history, your age, work history, and more. This leaves some room for you to maximize the amount you receive. And remember, if this amount is less than the amount you would be paid based on your work history, you will automatically be paid the higher amount.
Social Security Benefits For Spouses Who Work
Below, see if you qualify for Social Security spousal benefits and how to find out how much you'll get. And you'll learn the fate of two spousal benefit loopholes that were common in Social Security rules. (Hint: It's not good news.) But if you know the rules outlined in this article, you'll be able to maximize your spouse's Social Security benefits.
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If your spouse is applying for Social Security benefits, you can also collect benefits based on your spouse's work history, if:
When you apply for spousal benefits, you will also apply for benefits based on your own work history. If you qualify for benefits based on your own income, and that benefit amount is higher than your spousal benefit, that's what you get. If it is less, you get the spouse's benefit.
Spousal benefits are based on how much the other spouse would receive if that person began drawing benefits at full or "normal" retirement age.
The Social Security Administration has an online calculator that can show you what percentage of your spouse's benefits you will be eligible for based on your age when you start receiving benefits.
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The short answer to the arithmetic is this: You are entitled to half the amount of your spousal benefit as long as you wait until your full retirement age to file. The earlier you file, the less you get.
As you might expect, the "normal" retirement age is late in life, but changes to Social Security rules are being implemented in stages. It is 66 years for those born between 1943 and 1955. It gradually increases to 67 years of age for those. From 1955 to 1960. For those born after 1960 who are 67 years old.
An online Social Security calculator will show you what percentage of your spouse's benefits you will receive, based on your age when you applied.
Regardless of when your spouse actually retires, or if your spouse dies, the "normal" benefit amount for that person is your right when calculating your entitlement to spousal benefits.
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Your spouse's benefit is based on your partner's "normal" benefit amount. But the amount you get depends on when you start claiming it.
You can apply for spousal allowance already at the age of 62, but you will not receive as much as if you had waited until full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you choose to apply for spousal benefits at age 62, you will receive a benefit equal to 32.5% of your spouse's full benefit amount.
The amount increases for each year you are late. At full retirement age (67 in this example), you will be eligible for the maximum, which is 50% of your entire spouse's benefit.
In particular, spousal benefits are not reduced if the spouse is caring for an eligible child under the age or disability rules. The spouse's benefits can never exceed 50% of the other spouse's full benefit. Therefore, there is no incentive to apply for spousal benefits after full retirement age.
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The calculation becomes more complicated if you qualify to receive benefits from a state pension or foreign employer that is not covered by social security. In this case, you may still qualify, but the amount will be reduced.
For example, if you have a state pension for which Social Security taxes are not withheld, your spousal benefit amount will be reduced by two-thirds of your pension amount. This is known as the State Pension Payment.
For example, let's say you're eligible to receive $800 in Social Security spousal benefits and also receive $300 in state pensions each month. Your Social Security payments are reduced by two-thirds by $300, or $200, making your total benefit amount from all sources $900 per month ($800 - $200 + $300).
Same-sex couples have enjoyed the same rights as all other couples since a Supreme Court ruling in 2015 affirming their constitutional right to marriage recognition. This means that they are entitled to social security benefits for spouses and dependents.
Can My Spouse And Children Get Benefits If I Am Approved For Social Security Disability?
The rules for Spousal Social Security benefits for divorcees and widows are complex to cover every conceivable circumstance.
If you are divorced, you may be eligible for spousal benefits based on your ex-spouse's work history. The rules are pretty much the same, plus:
If your ex-spouse hasn't applied for benefits yet, you can still apply for spousal benefits if you've been separated for at least two years.
If your ex-spouse is still living, in most cases you must be at least 62 years old and your spouse must be old enough to qualify for benefits. (It doesn't matter if the ex-spouse actually collects benefits or not.)
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A widow or widower can receive up to 100% of the spouse's benefit amount. This if the survivor has reached full retirement age at the time of the application.
The amount is reduced to between 71% and 99% of the deceased's benefit if the widow is at least 60 but under full retirement age.
People with disabilities can apply already at the age of 50. The agency has a streamlined application process to avoid delays in the first payment.
You may be eligible for benefits even if your spouse dies long before you reach retirement age. Each employee collects annual social "credits" for work. If your spouse has earned credits for at least 10 years, the spouse benefit is earned.
Understanding Social Security Spousal Benefits
It's important to note that it pays to wait until you reach your 'full' retirement age to increase the amount you receive.
Also, if you are receiving spousal benefits and your spouse passes away, you must notify Social Security. Your spouse's benefit converts 50% of your partner's benefit into a 100% survivor benefit.
You may hear or read about other ways to increase your spousal benefit. Unfortunately, under the new Social Security rules, two popular strategies have been discontinued.
Prior to 2016, workers could file for benefits (which would make their partners eligible to claim spousal benefits), then put their benefits on hold to maximize their deferred filing credits. This so-called file-and-hold strategy means that the low-income partner can take advantage of spousal benefits while the primary earner accumulates delayed retirement credits, thereby increasing the size of his benefit.
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However, the "have your cake and eat it too" loophole was closed with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which took effect in April 2016.
While it is still possible to apply for benefits and then temporarily suspend payments, other benefits that are normally on your account (such as spousal benefits) are no longer due during these suspensions.
The 2015 law also prevented people born after January 1, 1954 from doubling up by claiming spousal benefits while accumulating delayed retirement credits in their own accounts.
Previously, it was possible for those who qualified for both types of benefits to file for spousal benefits first, while delaying the claim at their own expense, a process sometimes called limited claiming. This allowed taxpayers to benefit from the ex-spouse's payments while maximizing their own benefits through delayed retirement credits.
Social Security Retirement Benefits
Under current law, spouses born after January 1, 1954 are considered to have applied for all benefits to which they are entitled when they apply for one. The payouts they receive depend on the higher grant amount.
Each couple must figure out the best way to maximize the benefits for their own circumstances.
The three strategies below will help you get the most out of your Social Security benefits, depending on your circumstances. However, bear in mind that regardless of your circumstances, the maximum a spouse can receive is 50% of the amount the higher-earning partner is entitled to at full retirement age.
If a partner has little or no earnings history, the best strategy is for the payee to delay applying for Social Security retirement benefits until age 70 to get the largest amount possible. The full retirement age is 66 for most baby boomers and 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later, but by delaying claiming benefits until age 70, the earner will receive deferred retirement credits that will increase monthly payments by 8% for each year of delay.
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Keep in mind that this will not affect the spouse's benefit
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