How does my social security spousal benefit work?

You’ve probably never worked or paid Social Security taxes (or haven’t paid them for long enough), so you won’t be able to claim Social Security retirement benefits on your own. However, you could possibly get spousal benefits through your partner’s account. You can file a return under their account from age 62, as long as your partner has already filed to collect their own benefits. Additionally, you will be able to apply for Medicare health protection at age 65.

Key points to remember

  • Spouses who are not eligible for Social Security on their own employment relationship can claim benefits based primarily on the opposite partner’s relationship.
  • The maximum profit of the spouse is equal to 50% of the profit of the opposite partner.
  • Individuals can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62, but will receive additional money if they wait until full retirement age.

Spousal Social Security Guidelines [2022]

For many work {couples}, each of the companions may be eligible for individual benefits. However, this does not prevent both people from accumulating under the other person’s account. While claiming benefits, each account can be checked to know which statement will lead to better amount of profit.

If your individual profit is larger, you will automatically get that amount. In the event that your joint benefit is larger, you will get a mix of benefits that complement that amount.

While you can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62, your benefit may be completely diminished from what you will get at full or ‘ordinary’ retirement age. The full retirement age for Social Security functions is between 66 and 67, counting on your 12 months of departure.

One exception: if you are caring for your partner’s baby who is under 16 or who receives social security incapacity benefits, you can receive spousal benefits at any age without reduction.

Additionally, if you decide to claim before full retirement age, your profit amount could also be reduced if you continue to work, depending on how much you earn. Eligibility for presidential, international or civil service pensions can also affect your funds.

When you wait until full retirement age to claim your benefits, you can get the most amount you can put together as a partner. This is the same as 50% of your partner’s profit amount.

The benefit-claiming technique often known as “file and droop” has been completely eradicated.

Adjustments to social security regulations

Some recent regulatory changes have affected how one can collect spousal benefits. When you were born on or before January 1, 1954, you should still be able to use a benefit claim technique often known as “restricted utility” to extend your benefits.

Young beneficiaries will not be able to use this technique, which was removed by the Bipartisan Funds Act of 2015.

How the Restricted Utility Technique Works for Eligible Spouses

When you reach full retirement age and are entitled to your personal benefits in addition to spousal benefits, you can choose to collect benefits under your partner’s account now and defer your personal benefits until later. . To file a restricted claim, you and your partner must be of full retirement age, and you must both have filed for benefits.

Submitting a restricted service may result in a better amount of profit when you later file for social security under your personal account. The reason for this is that you should have accrued a deferred retirement credit for each year of your deferred retirement, up to age 70, when the benefits are greatest.

Deferring retirement each year earns an extra 8% for people born between 1943 and 1954. So, for example, someone born in 1952 who retires in 2021 at age 69 will get an extra 24% on top of what they could have had. acquired if they had started accumulating in 2018 at full retirement age. However, only one person per couple could benefit from marital advantages while the income delayed the retirement credit on his personal account.

And, to repeat, this feature is no longer available to anyone not born on or before January 1, 1954.

‘File and Droop’ has been completely eradicated

You may also hear or review another Social Security claim technique, known as file and droop. Unfortunately, this is no longer relevant, in addition because of the Bipartisan Funds Act of 2015. Using this technique, the partner who earns the most can file for Social Security at full retirement age ( which allows her partner to obtain spousal benefits) but then “sags” her return and benefits only later, while accumulating a deferred retirement credit in the meantime.

Use of spousal benefits

You can apply for spousal benefits online at the Social Safety Administration (SSA) website, by phone, or by making an appointment at your Social Security workplace. The SSA website also contains hyperlinks to information on the maximum amount you can earn while accruing benefits and an online calculator to help you estimate your potential benefit to your spouse.

Maria D. Ervin