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spousal benefits

Spousal Benefits – Social Security

For those who are unaware of or do not know, you can actually be eligible for spousal benefits when your spouse files for their retirement benefits. This will be dependent on the amount of income/earnings your spouse had made during their work. Spousal benefits are another social security “secret” most people do not know about and are not taking advantage of. These benefits are also available for those both married and divorced. 

For those divorced, if you are no longer married and the past marriage lasted at least 10 years you are in fact able to receive spousal benefits from your previous spouse. Both spouses must also be at least 62 years of age. That being said, you do have to still be single and can not be remarried to receive such benefits. If your ex spouse has happened to remarry, do not worry you can still be eligible. 

If eligible, you will then be receiving a monthly benefit that is given based on the record of your ex spouse. This can be up to 50% of your spouse’s benefits as long as they have reached their full retirement age. This will vary depending on their birthdate. 

The full retirement age is 67 for those born in the year 1960 or later and for those born prior to 1960, their FRA is between 66 years old and 66 years and some months, depending on their actual birth date it can vary. You can also use a Full Retirement Age calculator to find your FRA if you wish to. These can be found online and are very simple to use. 

An important note to keep in mind is how your benefits can be affected significantly if you have not yet reached your FRA and decided to collect these benefits. This is significant because it can be permanent. This can be avoided however if you have a child that meets the requirements. 

For those who lose their spouse, survivor benefits are available. The age in which you can file for this benefit the earliest is 60 years old. This benefit is also available for those who have been divorced and their ex-spouse has passed away. 

For eligibility, 10 years is the minimum for the marriage to have lasted to qualify. Having a child that meets the criteria can also qualify you as well. You can however receive either your payment or your spouse’s payment from Social Security. The SSA will not allow you to receive both combined. Only one is allowed.