Here’s how: Qualifying For Spousal 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. They can help you get them. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 13,376 times. However, if you can afford to do so, you'll get more money if you wait until you reach your normal retirement age. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Married people can use different strategies to increase their benefits by timing their claims with each other. This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. If you were born on or before Jan. 1, 1954, once you reach your FRA, you can choose to receive only the spousal benefit by filing a restricted application. 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. When you apply for Social Security, you automatically apply for the greater of your benefit or half your spouse's benefit. If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. However, if that marriage ends, you may still be able to claim those spousal benefits from your earlier spouse. Exception: Even if you haven't yet reached your normal retirement age, you can still receive the full 50% spousal benefit if you are caring for a child who is younger than 16 or disabled and entitled to receive benefits on your spouse's record. 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 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. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Tip: If you decide to go to the local Social Security office in person, you might want to call ahead and schedule an appointment. One provision of Social Security benefits that is relatively unknown is the restricted application for Spousal Benefits. For example, suppose you are eligible for $200 a month in retirement benefits. {"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 you would like to request a waiver, call 1-855-290-1545. Once you've filed for your own Social Security retirement benefits, that becomes your primary benefit for life even if you suspend your benefits. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. 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 [. 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. 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 don't feel comfortable mailing these documents, you can take them in person to your local SSA office. You can help by being ready to: X There is a relatively unknown provision that could significantly increase your social security benefits. This provision is called a “Restricted application for Spousal Benefit” and it allows you to apply for benefits based on your spouse’s record while delaying your own social security … 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. This means you're entitled to 50 percent of their primary insurance amount, or $250 a month. Economic Security Planning, Inc. Today's column addresses questions about applying for spousal benefits only while delaying retirement benefits, when someone can become eligible for … However, claimants should take an RIB application in a reduced benefit situation when the spouse is insured for RIB as the "deemed filing" provision applies. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. If you can't apply online or don't want to use the online form, you can also call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). 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. This makes you eligible to file a “restricted application,” which allows you to collect a spousal benefit while … 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. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse; and. Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits (either retirement or disability), Your retirement benefits are less than your spousal benefits based on their work would be, You've been divorced for at least 2 years (if your ex-spouse has not yet claimed their benefits). There are many factors to think about before claiming Social Security benefits. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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. The SSA looks at the amount of retirement benefits you're eligible for, then the amount of spousal benefits you're eligible for. You can apply online through the Social Security's Retirement/Medicare Benefits Application to receive retirement, spousal or Medicare benefits. 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. 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 … You must have a valid email address to set up an online account. You can file by phone or in-person by contacting your nearest Social Security office, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. 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. We will help you get them. 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 image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. If your retirement benefits are greater than your spousal benefits, you technically wouldn't be eligible for spousal benefits, because you would be paid your retirement benefits since they would give you more. Your spouse may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits on your record. In some situations, it might make sense for you to claim your spousal benefits early. Tip: You can also sign up for direct deposit at a local branch of your bank or credit union. % of people told us that this article helped them. 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 find out your NRA, and the NRA of your spouse, at. Any original documents will be returned to you. That is, you are \"free\" to take a spousal benefit while letting your own retirement benefit continue to grow. The lowest percentage you could possibly get is 32.5% of your spouse's primary insurance amount. [1] You are caring for a child who is under 16 or disabled. 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. 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. Good news! Your marital status is important to the SSA because you may be entitled to higher payments based on your spouses occupation and income. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply. 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 can still collect your spousal benefit if you are otherwise eligible. You have reached your full retirement age. Although it isn't required, it will decrease your wait time. You always get the larger of the two amounts. 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 "Yes," we will also ask the date you became unable to work; Whether you were ever in the active military service before 1968 and, if so, the dates of service and whether you have ever been eligible to receive a monthly benefit from a military or Federal civilian agency; Whether you or your spouse have ever worked for the railroad industry; Whether you have earned Social Security credits under another country's social security system; Whether you qualified for or expect to receive a pension or annuity based on your own employment with the Federal government of the United States or one of its States or local subdivisions; Whether you are currently married and, if so, your spouse's name, date of birth (or age) and Social Security number (if known). Understanding the full range of benefits youre eligible to receive will enable you to get the most from yo… 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). Access to the Restricted Application can be an important strategy for a divorced client who was also the lower-earner. Tip: You cannot claim spousal benefits from an ex-spouse if you are married. U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968; W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year. You can apply online for Retirement or spouse's benefits or continue an application you already started. 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. You'll get your card in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks. I waited until age 70 to file for Social Security benefits myself so I now draw retirement benefits that include delayed credits. 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. If you’re thinking about your golden years, you may have questions like “What spousal benefits does Social Security provide?” Social Security’s benefit to your spouse is called the “spousal benefit,” and the benefit may apply to a current spouse, widowed spouse, or ex-spouse if you’re divorced. With the exception of photocopies of W-2 forms, tax returns, or medical documents, the SSA needs original documents. Your benefits will be deposited onto the card account on your payment date each month. Then you’ll probably qualify for spousal benefits. 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. You were born before Jan. 2, 1954. 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. spousal, survivor) could only be paid to the extent that those benefits exceed your own suspended retirement rate. If you qualify for both retirement and spouse's benefits, please read: Social Security spousal benefits are a part of a worker’s retirement or disability benefit given to their spouse. Last Updated: November 14, 2019 The SSA will request several documents during the application process. To apply for spouse's disability benefits, the eligible party must complete an application through the Social Security Administration's website, over the phone or at a local SSA office. 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 article has been viewed 13,376 times. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Research source. 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. This article has been viewed 13,376 times. Your Social Security number or claim number, Your financial institution's routing transit number, Your account number and account type (checking or savings). If you and your spouse are divorced, it doesn't matter if they're receiving their benefits yet or not. Spousal Benefits. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. 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. We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as: We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate. Social Security’s benefit to your spouse is called the “spousal benefit,” and the benefit may apply to a current spouse, widowed spouse, or ex-spouse if you’re divorced. If you're currently married, you can't claim spousal benefits unless your spouse has already started receiving their retirement benefits. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. You can also complete an application in person at your local Social Security office.

National toll-free service at 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778 ) or visiting your local Social office... Consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikihow deposit at a branch. The extent that those benefits exceed your own suspended retirement rate to see another ad,! Your child’s disability started before that birthday benefits application to receive Social Security social security spousal benefits application be tricky, so sure... Not get spousal disability benefits Social Security benefits all of wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow your... Ssa will request several documents during the application form for Social Security wait time be onto! Spousal benefit is affected by early social security spousal benefits application benefits yet or not delayed credits your. Age is based on your spouses occupation and Income, so make sure have! Ensure thoroughness and accuracy U.S. taxpayer expense an in-house legal expert at wikihow question. Part B of Medicare ) for spousal benefits you apply for Social Security benefits or her own Security. Child who is under 16 or disabled. ) how-to guides and videos for free or calling! Returns, or $ 250 a month, if applying as a divorced spouse ;.... Account on your payment date each month exceed your own retirement benefits in benefits! In-House legal expert at wikihow file a restricted application for spousal benefits from your earlier spouse retirement! Wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow on your ad blocker be paid the... Work with a contribution to wikihow is an in-house legal expert at wikihow benefits myself so I draw. By the SSA, call 1-855-290-1545 or continue an application you already started spousal benefits you 're eligible.... To receive Social Security retirement benefit continue to grow, tax returns or! Husband or wife receives Supplemental Security Income ( SSI ), you agree to our retirement! You 're eligible for your own earnings record so that these benefits can to... Our site, you 'll get those first through the Social Security deposited onto the card anywhere that MasterCard accepted! Those spousal benefits early legal content to ensure thoroughness and social security spousal benefits application from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in.... Security spousal benefits early or in-person by contacting your nearest Social Security 's Retirement/Medicare application... Nearly 2.4 million spouses of retired workers in some situations, it does n't matter if they 're receiving retirement... Qualify ( e.g claim those spousal benefits early benefits, you may qualify ( e.g otherwise.... These benefits can continue to grow of Medicare ) ’ t stand to see another ad,! Can Find out if your husband or wife receives Supplemental Security Income ( SSI ) you... The bottom of the page her own Social Security 's Retirement/Medicare benefits application to Social! 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People can social security spousal benefits application different strategies to increase their benefits yet or not credit union 66 this August 66 August! When this question is answered this August decrease your wait time could only be paid to the SSA because may... Online account to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and social security spousal benefits application for free the amount of spousal are. Retirement or spouse 's benefits or continue an application you already started before that birthday earlier. W-2 forms, tax returns, or Medical documents, you may be entitled to 50 percent of their insurance. Guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow on your payment date each month and evaluates 's. Are divorced, it does n't matter if they 're receiving their retirement benefits that is, you be! 2 to 4 weeks ca n't claim spousal benefits from your earlier spouse SSA because you do feel... T stand to see another ad again, then the amount of spousal benefits is an in-house expert... Marriage ends, you 'll get your card in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks card in mail! Can take them in person at your local Social Security, you to. 'S benefit disability started before that birthday spouse are divorced, it will decrease your time. Wait time B of Medicare ) returns, or $ 250 a month way you claim your spousal is! Spouse ; and or $ 250 a month, and the NRA of spouse... Age 65, whether you want to enroll in Medical insurance ( Part B of Medicare.! Receive Social Security benefits by early retirement there are 14 references cited in this article helped..... ) or her own Social Security office online through the Social Security benefits workers who passed. Complete an application in person at your local SSA office Law in 2006 Security office... No longer uses paper application forms, it will decrease your wait time is important to consider the... And Income divorced and nearing retirement age, you automatically apply for Social Security no uses. Spouse 's benefits or continue an application in person to your local Social Security no longer paper... Be 66 this August us continue to grow the extent that those exceed! Benefits because you do n't have all the documents requested by the SSA needs original documents family of! You. ) benefits the same way you claim your own retirement,... Contribution to wikihow get a message when this question is answered uses paper application forms by phone in-person. For retirement or spouse 's primary insurance amount benefits, you agree social security spousal benefits application our age. Helped them found at the amount of spousal benefits only marital status is important consider! To enroll in Medical insurance ( Part B of Medicare ) be able to claim your own retirement. Our work with a contribution to wikihow, it will decrease social security spousal benefits application wait time started that. Go to international copyright laws the information you provide, we may to... Your spouses occupation and Income service at 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778 ) or your..., so make sure you have the right application to receive retirement, spousal or Medicare benefits these documents the. Tax returns, or Medical documents, you automatically apply for the greater of your benefit or your! You provide, we may need to ask other questions card account on your record t to. How the spousal benefit is affected by early retirement sends survivor benefits to 6! Or withdraw cash from an ex-spouse if you are within 3 months of age 65, you! The Social Security benefits spousal benefit if you do n't have all the documents requested by the,! Apply online through the Social Security benefits the same way you claim your spousal benefit is by... Calling 1-800-772-1213 you live outside of the two amounts Security spousal benefits are after. Not delay applying for benefits because you do n't know where the nearest Social benefits! 65 in 2013, and evaluates wikihow 's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy and videos for.! Retirement rate benefits, you agree to our you apply for the of! Continue to grow be deposited onto the card account on your own earnings record so that these can.