& Other Important Information. Compute the effect of early retirement for spouses There are also other scenarios where you can claim survivor benefits at a younger age (and a reduced percentage), including if you are taking care of a child under the age of 16 or you are disabled. Benefits that are taken more than 36 months early are reduced an additional 5/12 of 1%. PIA is the amount of Social Security benefits that your spouse is entitled to at his or her full retirement age (which is based on birth year, and could be between age 65 and 67 – see table in “How are spousal benefits calculated for Social Security?” section). When you’re ready to apply, we recommend using a checklist to ensure you take the right steps and have the right documentation. ), Enter your date of birth When can a spouse claim spousal benefits? Social Security retirement benefits can start as early as age 62, but your benefits will be permanently reduced by up to 30%. Note that eligibility for the spousal disability benefit will end if he or she becomes eligible to receive significantly higher Social Security benefits on his or her own record. You may receive spousal survivor benefits as early as your 60th birthday if your deceased spouse was eligible for Social Security insurance benefits. There are many differences between spousal benefits and survivor benefits. With survivor benefits, you also are allowed to file a restricted application (applying just for your own earned benefits or just for survivor benefits). A surviving spouse can collect 100 percent of the late spouse’s benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age , but the amount will be lower if the deceased spouse claimed benefits before he or she reached full … My fathers social security check is significantly larger than hers so I suggested she look into claiming 50% spousal benefit based on his check amount. First, the Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates the benefits owed on your own earnings record (if you qualify). Social Security spousal benefits are just one of these features. If you claim benefits before your Full Retirement Age, they will reduce your spousal benefits. 2. You can file for spousal benefits the same way you would earned benefits: on the Social Security Administration website, by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security field office. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you’ve worked enough to qualify for your own Social Security retirement benefits, you will not get both benefits added together. In most cases, if you can afford to, it pays to wait until you reach your full retirement age to claim your benefits. Social Security calculates and pays the higher amount. Benefits For Your Family If you’re getting Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. This strategy would let you start receiving spousal benefits, while delaying taking your earned benefits, causing them to grow. Birth certificate (or another proof of birth), Marriage certificate (and if applying as a divorced spouse, you’ll need a certified copy of the final divorce decree. Instead, you will receive whichever benefit is higher. (month/day/year format): If you qualify for Social Security spousal benefits, the size of your benefit can be up to 50% of your spouse or ex-spouse’s primary insurance amount (PIA). Next, the SSA calculates 50% of your spouse’s PIA. and if that benefit is higher than the spousal benefit, then we pay the Thus, in this case, the final spousal benefit is 37.5 percent of the primary further reduced 5/12 of one percent per month. File and suspend was a popular method used by married couples to get the most out of their Social Security benefits. How Much Is the Social Security Spousal Benefit? in . Typically, that means you’ve paid into Social Security for at least 10 years over the course of your life. insurance amount. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced 5/12 of one percent per month. The spousal benefit can be as much as half of the worker's The earliest you can claim spousal benefits is 62—but how early you claim plays an important role in maximizing your benefits. If you’re eligible and can qualify, the spousal benefit can be as much as 50% of the higher-earning spouse’s full retirement age benefit. However, if your spouse is already collecting Social Security (and if you were born on or after Jan. 2, 1954), then when you claim benefits, you are subject to “deemed filing”. If you’re divorced, to qualify for spousal benefits you must: The amount of your spousal benefit depends on 1) your spouse’s earnings history and 2) how old you are when you claim your benefits. Again, this means you will not have a choice about waiting and switching. Your spouse or ex-spouse also must be living (if they are not, you may be eligible for survivors benefits). She said social security told her when she elected to receive her own benefit at age 62 she eliminated the option to collect a spousal benefit. In those cases, you can file a restricted application for spousal benefits without also applying for earned benefits. before "normal (or full) retirement age," For a spouse who is not entitled to benefits on his or her own earnings record, this reduction factor is applied to the base spousal benefit, which is 50 percent of /, Enter the effective month and year for which you would like to begin receiving benefits: However, spousal benefits are reduced by 25/36 of 1% for each month before your full retirement age, up to 36 months early. If your spouse is not yet receiving retirement benefits, you can claim your own Social Security starting at 62, and later switch to spousal benefits when your spouse files. Social Security spousal benefits may be available, under certain circumstances to spouses, ex-spouses and widows and widowers. For this to work, your spouse must have already filed for their benefits. Spousal benefits allow you to get up to 50 percent of the total benefits your spouse is eligible for without taking away from their benefits. The one exception is divorced couples. It will always be based on your mate’s primary insurance amount. When you apply for benefits, Social Security will automatically consider you to be applying for both your own benefits and any spousal benefits. Otherwise we pay the spousal benefit. If you're eligible for your own retirement benefits, you'll get those first. Under the new law (which affected everyone going forward, regardless of birth year) if your spouse suspends his or her earned benefits, your spousal benefits also will be suspended. 3. Economic Security Planning, Inc. Today’s column addresses questions about when it’s possible to file for spousal benefits, who can still file restricted applications for spousal benefits only, divorced spousal benefits after early retirement benefits and eligibility for disability benefits … Here’s what you need to know about how the Social Security Administration calculates spousal benefits. En español | When a Social Security beneficiary dies, his or her surviving spouse is eligible for survivor benefits. Keep in mind, this would mean delaying when. A spousal benefit is reduced 25/36 of one You are eligible to begin retirement and spousal benefits starting at age 62. They can even provide a nice supplement to your 401(k) or IRA distributions. (Note: there is an exception to this rule for spousal benefits – see the loophole directly below). Once they hit full retirement age, if they hadn’t claimed any benefits, they could claim just their spousal benefits first, and delay taking their own earned benefits. Thanks for your question. How are spousal benefits calculated for Social Security? Claiming early permanently reduces your benefits. Applying a 25 percent reduction to the $800 amount gives a spousal benefit In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides an important source of retirement income for many Americans, including the spouses, ex-spouses, widows, widowers, and dependent children of workers. How retirement benefits, spousal benefits, and widow(er) benefits are calculated, How to decide the best age to claim your benefit, How Social Security benefits are taxed and how that affects tax planning, Click here to see the full list. Calculate the Social Security you’re owed, which is based on birth year, and could be between age 65 and 67, Have a spouse that is already collecting their Social Security benefits, Have an earned benefit that is lower than your potential spousal benefit, Be age 62 or taking care of a child who is age 16 or younger or disabled, who is the child of your spouse and who is also receiving Social Security benefits based on the spouse’s work record, Have been married to the relevant ex-spouse for at least 10 years, Be unmarried (your ex, however, can be remarried), Have been divorced for two years before you claim, If you’re taking care of a child who is younger than 16 or who is disabled. Will My Wife Get Social Security Spousal Benefits When I Start My Retirement Benefits? If your spouse’s full retirement age benefit amounts to $2,000 per month, your spousal benefit at your full retirement age could amount to $1,000 per month. Who is eligible for spousal benefits from Social Security? 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