The amount you receive will depend on when you begin to claim benefits

The amount you receive will depend on when you begin to claim benefits

Claiming Early or Late

You can claim spousal benefits as early as age 62, but you won’t receive as much as if you had waited until your own full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you choose to claim spousal benefits at 62, you’d receive a benefit that’s equal to 34.6% of your spouse’s full benefit amount.

The amount you receive increases with each year you delay. At your full retirement age (age 67 in this example), you’d be eligible for the maximum, which is 50% of your spouse’s full benefit . So there is no incentive to file for spousal benefits later than your own full retirement age.

If You’re Receiving Other Retirement Benefits

The calculation gets a bit more complicated if you are eligible to receive benefits from a government pension or foreign employer that is not covered by Social Security. In that case, you ount will be reduced.

For example, if you have a government pension for which Social Security taxes are not withheld, the amount of your spousal benefit is reduced by two-thirds of the amount of your pension. This is known as a government pension offset.

For example, suppose you are eligible to receive $800 in Social Security spousal benefits and you also get a $300 pension each month from a government employer who didn’t withhold Social Security taxes. Your Social Security payment is reduced by two-thirds of $300, or $200, making your total benefit amount from all sources $900 per month ([$800 – $200] + $300).

An ex-spouse may be eligible for spousal benefits even if the former spouse hasn’t retired yet, as long as you’ve been divorced for at least two years.

Same-Sex Married Couples

Same-sex e rights as all other couples since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling affirming their constitutional rights to e-sex couples are eligible for Social Security spousal benefits.

Spousal Benefits for Divorced Spouses

If you’re divorced, you may be eligible for spousal benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record. The rules are much the same, plus:

  • Your marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years.
  • You must currently be unmarried.

Even if your former spouse hasn’t filed for benefits yet, you can still file for spousal benefits if you have been divorced for at least two years. However, you must be at least 62 years old, https://getbride.org/sv/heta-dominikanska-kvinnor/ and your spouse must be old enough to qualify for benefits.

Survivors Benefits for Widows and Widowers

With Social Security survivors benefits, a widow or widower can receive up to 100% of a spouse’s benefit amount if the survivor has reached full retirement age at the time of the application.

The payment is reduced to somewhere between 71 ? % and 99% of the deceased’s benefits if the widowed person is at least 60 years old but younger than full retirement age.

You may be eligible for benefits even if your spouse died long before reaching retirement age. Here’s how it works: every employee or self-employed worker racks up Social Security credits for working. In 2024, one credit equals $1,730 of income. Once you’ve earned $6,920 (four credits), you’ve maxed out your credits for the year. If your deceased spouse earned 40 credits-that’s ten years of work with at least $6,920 in earnings per year-a spousal benefit was earned.

Also, if you are receiving spousal benefits and your spouse dies, you need to notify the SSA. Once you do so, your spousal benefit (of up to 50% of your partner’s full retirement age benefit) will convert to a survivor benefit (of up to 100%). And do it promptly. It’s not usually retroactive.

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