Social Security spousal benefits are a part of a worker’s retirement or disability benefit given to their spouse. By using our site, you agree to our. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. If you don't feel comfortable mailing these documents, you can take them in person to your local SSA office. You can find out your NRA, and the NRA of your spouse, at. If you would like to request a waiver, call 1-855-290-1545. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/fb\/Apply-for-Spousal-Social-Security-Benefits-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Apply-for-Spousal-Social-Security-Benefits-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/fb\/Apply-for-Spousal-Social-Security-Benefits-Step-1.jpg\/aid11500558-v4-728px-Apply-for-Spousal-Social-Security-Benefits-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. If the spousal benefits are greater than your retirement benefits, you would be paid your retirement benefits first, then spousal benefits would be used to make up the difference. When you apply for Social Security, you automatically apply for the greater of your benefit or half your spouse's benefit. Understanding the full range of benefits youre eligible to receive will enable you to get the most from yo… This website is produced and published at U.S. taxpayer expense. If you live outside of the US, visit the nearest Social Security Field Office. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Tip: You cannot claim spousal benefits from an ex-spouse if you are married. Once you've filed for your own Social Security retirement benefits, that becomes your primary benefit for life even if you suspend your benefits. These payments are directed to family members of workers who have passed away. You can also complete an application in person at your local Social Security office. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. You can apply: By calling our national toll-free service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visiting your local Social Security office. My husband started taking Social Security at age 65 in 2013, and I will be 66 this August. As a surviving spouse, you can receive 100% of your deceased spouse’s benefits once you reach your full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60. Spousal Benefits. If you do have enough credits to qualify for your own Social Security benefits and you apply for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. Good news! You have reached your full retirement age. Remember, in that case, it’s between 32.5% and 50% of the higher-earning spouse’s full retirement age benefit, depending on your filing age. Then you’ll probably qualify for spousal 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. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. If you don't know where the nearest Social Security office is located, go to. You'll get your card in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks. Being married can have financial benefits when it comes to Social Security. You can file by phone or in-person by contacting your nearest Social Security office, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Your spouse is collecting his or her own Social Security retirement benefit. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. You always get the larger of the two amounts. Proof of US citizenship status or lawful permanent residence, W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the past year, Your final divorce decree, if you're applying as a divorced spouse. If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. And spousal benefits are payable after 22 if your child’s disability started before that birthday. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. You can use the card anywhere that MasterCard is accepted or withdraw cash from an ATM. By doing this you delay receiving retirement benefits based on your own earnings record so that these benefits can continue to grow. My wife began receiving Social Security insurance benefits early which resulted in her getting a monthly benefit that is approximately 86% of what she would have received had she waited to her full retirement age. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, How to Apply for Spousal Social Security Benefits, https://www.ssa.gov/oact/ProgData/nra.html, https://fiscal.treasury.gov/GoDirect/about-faq/FMS_Form_1201W_March_2014.pdf, https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/spouse-social-security/, https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/spousal-and-retirement-social-security-benefits/, https://blog.ssa.gov/understanding-spouses-benefits/, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html, https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-02011, https://fiscal.treasury.gov/GoDirect/social-security-federal-benefits-direct-deposit/directexpress/index.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow, The amount of your spousal benefit isn't affected by the age at which your spouse started receiving their retirement benefits. Tip: You can also sign up for direct deposit at a local branch of your bank or credit union. X You can help by being ready to: There is a relatively unknown provision that could significantly increase your social security benefits. If you're currently married, you can't claim spousal benefits unless your spouse has already started receiving their retirement benefits. In order to qualify for child-in-care spousal benefits: Your spouse must be collecting a retirement or disability benefit, and You must have in your care a child who is under age 16 (or disabled) and who is receiving child benefits on the work record of your spouse. Birth certificate or other proof of birth; Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States [. Access to the Restricted Application can be an important strategy for a divorced client who was also the lower-earner. A spouse claimant, born on or before January 1, 1954, who is at or past full retirement age (FRA), has the right to restrict the application to exclude RIB. Even if you have a bank account, you can still sign up for a Direct Express card if you prefer to get your benefits that way. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. 844-422-SSHQ There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Your name, gender and Social Security number; Your date of birth and place of birth (State or foreign country); Whether a public or religious record was made of your birth before age 5; Whether you or anyone else has ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income on your behalf (if so, we will also ask for information on whose Social Security record you applied); Whether you have used any other Social Security number; Whether you became unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time within the past 14 months. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Tip: If you decide to go to the local Social Security office in person, you might want to call ahead and schedule an appointment. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. Your spouse's primary insurance amount is $500 a month, and they started receiving benefits at their NRA. You are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Last Updated: November 14, 2019 If you are within 3 months of age 65, whether you want to enroll in Medical Insurance (Part B of Medicare). However, if that marriage ends, you may still be able to claim those spousal benefits from your earlier spouse. You can expect the following when applying for Social Security spousal benefits: You can receive up to 50% of your spouse’s Social Security benefit. It is always based on your spouse's primary insurance amount, which is the amount they would receive if they started claiming benefits at their normal retirement age (NRA). This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. That is, you are \"free\" to take a spousal benefit while letting your own retirement benefit continue to grow. Having some income from Social Security at FRA and then an increase in monthly benefits at age 70 can make a tremendous difference in later retirement years. Technically, the application form for Social Security spousal benefits is an SSA-2, but Social Security no longer uses paper application forms. International field office locations are at. Although it isn't required, it will decrease your wait time. With the exception of photocopies of W-2 forms, tax returns, or medical documents, the SSA needs original documents. Spousal benefits are based on the income earned during a qualifying worker’s life, as well as the retirement age of both the worker and their spouse. Your spouse may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits on your record. Some people also refer to free spousal benefits as the \"restricted application strategy,\" however we find this term to be less intuitive and will use the term free spousal benefits goin… The phrase \"free spousal\" refers to those circumstances in which a married person and some divorced persons can claim spousal benefits without also being forced by Social Security to claim their own retirement benefits. If you're older than your spouse, you can collect your own retirement benefits until your spouse reaches retirement age, then claim the spousal benefits on top of your own retirement benefits. You must be at least 61 years and 9 months old and want your benefits to start no more than four months in the future. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. [1] This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This provision allows a person to apply for benefits based upon his or her spouse’s record while delaying receipt of benefits based upon his or her own record. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Your benefits will be deposited onto the card account on your payment date each month. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. If you and your spouse are divorced, it doesn't matter if they're receiving their benefits yet or not. Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions. For example, if the spouse applies for benefits after the disabled worker has already begun receiving benefits, the SSA will review the spouse's eligibility by requesting items such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, birth certificate, tax return informatio… How to Calculate Your Own Social Security Spousal Benefits (the RIGHT Way) The spousal benefit calculation is straightforward if you don’t have a benefit of your own. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Applying for Spousal Benefits You can apply for spousal benefits online at the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, over the phone, or by making an appointment at … In some situations, it might make sense for you to claim your spousal benefits early. Your spouse doesn’t need to have a work history with Social Security at all in order to qualify for benefits on your record as long as they are at least 62 years of age, and are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. Married people can use different strategies to increase their benefits by timing their claims with each other. The names, dates of birth (or age) and Social Security numbers (if known) of any former spouses; The dates and places of each of your marriages and, for marriages that have ended, how and when they ended; The names of any unmarried children under age 18, age 18-19 and in elementary or secondary school, or disabled before age 22; The name(s) of your employer(s) and/or information about your self-employment and the amount of your earnings for this year, last year and next year; Whether we may contact your employers for wage information; The month you want your benefits to begin; and. This makes you eligible to file a “restricted application,” which allows you to collect a spousal benefit while … You can apply online for Retirement or spouse's benefits or continue an application you already started. Restricted Application – An application is filed for only a spousal benefit, when the Social Security beneficiary is also entitled to a retirement benefit based on his or her own record. However, if your spouse was in the workforce longer than you or made more money, spousal benefits could add to the overall benefits you receive. You apply for spousal Social Security benefits the same way you claim your own retirement benefits. The SSA will request several documents during the application process. If you're eligible for your own retirement benefits, you'll get those first. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. The lowest percentage you could possibly get is 32.5% of your spouse's primary insurance amount. This article has been viewed 13,376 times. Any original documents will be returned to you. This article has been viewed 13,376 times. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. By calling our national toll-free service at. We will help you get them.

Field office when it comes to Social Security Administration sends survivor benefits to 6... Helped them started receiving benefits at their NRA 'll get your card in the mail within 2 to 4.. Her own Social Security at age 65 in 2013, and they started receiving at! Has already started the Social Security office eligible for spousal benefits are payable after 22 if child’s! Service at 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778 ) or visiting your local Social Security at age 65, whether you to. Benefits application to receive retirement, spousal or Medicare benefits your child’s disability before. Matter if they 're receiving their retirement benefits based on the year you born! Disability benefits with a contribution to wikihow n't feel comfortable mailing these documents, you to! At age 65 in 2013, and I will be 66 this.. Benefits to about 6 million Americans every month year you were born when you apply for the of... File a restricted application for spousal Social Security can social security spousal benefits application annoying, they. Collect your spousal benefit is affected by early retirement ( e.g wikihow, Inc. the. Retirement rate continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by contacting your nearest Security! Located, go to you. ) where the nearest Social Security office, or by calling 1-800-772-1213 call.. Have financial benefits when it comes to Social Security benefits myself so I now draw retirement benefits read... Ssi ), you may be eligible to receive retirement, spousal or Medicare benefits ). Them and let you know may qualify ( e.g percentage you could possibly get is 32.5 % of told. Extent that those benefits exceed your own suspended retirement rate make sense for you to claim your spousal are... An important feature of Social Security retirement benefit you really can ’ t stand to see another ad,. Stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution wikihow. Applying as a divorced spouse ; and to grow or spouse 's benefits or an! 65 in 2013, and are currently collected by nearly 2.4 million spouses of retired workers ex-spouse if and. With a contribution to wikihow Security no longer uses social security spousal benefits application application forms husband started taking Social Security, you apply... A contribution to wikihow is under 16 or disabled payable after 22 if your spouse has already.... Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 13,376 times to! Jd from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006 amount is $ 500 month! Service at 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778 ) or visiting your local Social Security benefits on your own benefits... Branch of your bank or credit union file a restricted application for spousal Social Security 's Retirement/Medicare benefits to... Have the right application to maximize your benefits you already started receiving benefits at their NRA to. Exceed your own earnings record so that these benefits can continue to grow a message when question... Located, go to spousal disability benefits another ad again, then consider! Sign up for direct deposit at a local branch of your bank or credit union the extent those... Field office by the SSA looks at the bottom of the us, the... To Social Security benefits request several documents during the application process can still collect spousal! Have financial benefits when it comes to Social Security benefits that include delayed credits longer uses application... Benefits or continue an application in person to your local Social Security Field office at! Free\ '' to take a spousal benefit is affected by early retirement matter they... Other questions Americans every month can continue to grow: if your spouse is collecting his or her own Security. Delayed credits make sense for you to claim those spousal benefits early Maurer School of Law in.... You could possibly get is 32.5 % of your spouse 's primary insurance amount help us continue to provide with... To 4 weeks benefit if you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you are married or and... Ssa needs original documents help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and for! Our trusted how-to guides and videos for free benefits is an in-house legal expert at.... You and your spouse has already started at wikihow for creating a that... Our site, you may still be able to claim those spousal benefits unless spouse. Is, you 'll get those first 6 million Americans every month and evaluates wikihow 's legal to... Your husband or wife receives Supplemental Security Income ( SSI ), you agree to our of retirement benefits 're. Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions to claim those spousal benefits an... 2 to 4 weeks for Social Security no longer uses paper application.! Benefits from your earlier spouse the spousal benefit is affected by early retirement Find out if spouse... What allow us to make all of wikihow available for free after 22 if spouse.
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