How Do I Switch From Spousal Benefits To Benefits On My Own Record
What is the process to switch from receiving spousal benefits to filing for benefits under your own earnings record/social security number?
I’ve scoured many social security websites but can’t seem to find a concise answer.
You’ll need to file a separate application to start benefits on your own record. If your own benefit rate is higher than the spousal benefit, the spousal benefits will stop when your own benefits start.
Applications can be filed up to 4 months in advance of the month you want to switch to your own record. You can make an appointment to file an application by calling 1-800-772-1213, or you can contact your nearest office: .
How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
Those who are currently retired
To people with disabilities
To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits
Spousal Benefit Reduction Due To Own Retirement Benefit
If you are receiving a retirement benefit of your own, your benefit as a spouse will be reduced by the greater of:
Example: In addition to receiving a benefit as Janes spouse, Bob is also receiving a retirement benefit of his own. Because he is entitled to a retirement benefit of his own, he will not receive the full spousal benefit . Instead, his spousal benefit will be reduced by the greater of a) his own PIA or b) his monthly retirement benefit.
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Can I Collect Half Of My Spouses Social Security At 62
Not quite. The percentage of your spouses Social Security that you receive starts at 32.5% at age 62 and steps up gradually to 50% at your full retirement age, 66 or 67 depending on your year of birth. The amount is based on your spouses benefit at full retirement age.
The important point is this: Dont bother delaying past your full retirement age. The amount you receive wont grow beyond that age.
How To Apply For Social Security Benefits After A Divorce
There are several methods for applying for Social Security benefits from your own work record or that of an ex-spouse. The best first step is to apply online through the SSA’s website. There, you’ll input the information necessary to determine your eligibility and payment amount. You can use the online form to apply up to four months before you want your retirement benefits to start.
You can also apply for benefits by phone or in person. If you plan to apply in person, though, call in advance to make sure that your local office is open and accepting walk-ins or appointments. You can use the SSA Field Office Locator to find the contact information for the SSA office closest to you.
You’ll want to gather the following documents and information before you begin the application process:
- the dates of current and previous marriages and the location of the marriage
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Amount Of Spousal Benefit
Your spouse is entitled to up to 50% of your monthly benefit amount, subject to a family maximum amount.
If your spouse has his or her own qualifying earnings record with Social Security, the SSA will pay that benefit amount first. However, if the amount that your spouse is entitled to based on your record is higher, the SSA will combine the benefits to make sure that your spouse receives the higher amount.
If your spouse begins to collect the spouses benefit between age 62 and his or her full retirement age, the monthly benefit amount will be permanently reduced. The Social Security Administration calculates the reduction amount using a formula based on the number of months from when benefits began until full retirement age.
How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. 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. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 22,442 times.
If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security 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. If you’re eligible for your own retirement benefits, you’ll get those first. 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.XResearch source
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How Do I File Separate Without Spouses Social Security Number
To get an online transcript or a copy by mail visit the IRS website. If you can’t get your spouse’s SSN you can’t e-file. Leave the box blank and print and mail in your return. Attach a statement to explain your situation.
If you meet the qualification to be “considered unmarried” you might be able to file as Head of household.
To be Considered Unmarried:
1. You file a separate return
2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.
3. Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Your
spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances.
4. Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year.
5. You must be able to claim an exemption for the child.
How Long Do I Need To Have Been Married To Collect My Exs Benefits
Another common question people ask is How long do you have to be married to get spouse social security?You have to have been married for at least ten years before you can get social security benefits after divorce according to the Social Security Administration. Also, your divorce must be at least two years.
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You Might Be Entitled To Share In Your Ex
By Melissa Heinig, Attorney
The federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance programalso known as “Social Security”provides monthly benefits to certain retired and disabled workers as well as their spouses. When your marriage is ending, it’s important to understand how the divorce will affect your or your soon-to-be-ex’s rights to Social Security benefits that you and your spouse earned during your marriage.
Complicating Factors: Spousal Benefit Reductions
An assortment of other factors can come into play, which could reduce your benefit as a spouse. For example:
- If you are receiving a retirement benefit of your own, your spousal benefit will be reduced.
- If you file for spousal benefits prior to your full retirement age, your spousal benefit will be reduced.
- If you are receiving a government pension from work that wasnt covered by Social Security taxes, your spousal benefit will be reduced by the government pension offset.
- If your spouse is disabled or if you have a minor child or adult disabled child, the family maximum rules may result in your spousal benefit being reduced.
- If you are collecting a spousal benefit while under full retirement age and you are working, the earnings test may result in some or all of your spousal benefit being withheld.
We will discuss the GPO, family maximum rules, and earnings test in other articles. For now, we will discuss only the first two potential sources of reduction: entitlement to your own retirement benefit and filing prior to full retirement age.
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Basic Rules Must Be Met
So long as some basic rules are met, you may be eligible to claim a higher retirement benefit based on your ex’s work record. This applies to both ex-spouses, whether you are the ex-wife or the ex-husband, and also for divorced spouses in a same-sex marriage.
The basic rules
- You and your ex must have been married for 10 consecutive years or longer, even if the marriage ended 30 years ago.
- Both you and your ex must be at least age 62 before you can claim as an ex-spouse.
- To collect on an ex’s record you must not be remarried.
- You and your ex must be divorced for two years or longer, or your ex must already be claiming retirement benefits.
Full Retirement Age
This is the month and year when you reach a specific age for Social Security benefits. It is based on the year you were born. If you were born from 1943 to 1954, your FRA is 66. Later birthdays have a later FRA. Find your FRA at Social Securitys website.
If you qualify as an ex-spouse based on these criteria, your retirement benefit would be half of your ex’s primary insurance amount, or PIA, so long as you claim at your full retirement age . The PIA is the benefit a person would receive if he or she elects to begin receiving retirement benefits at his or her normal FRA. You can claim as early as 62, but you will get less than half the amount you would get at FRA.
Qualifying For Social Security From Your Exs Benefits
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A recent email raised a question that Im sure is prominent in many minds: How can I claim Social Security benefits off my ex-spouses earnings record? And how do I find out how much Im eligible for from the ex?
Spousal benefits are an important part of Social Security retirement benefits. A spousal benefit is available to provide for a spouse who has a lower benefit due to a lower earnings record over his or her lifetime.
Quite often, there is a division of labor among a married couple, where one works full time throughout his or her career, and the other either works in the home, perhaps caring for children, or works part time or sporadically outside the home throughout his or her working years. This situation can result with one member of the couple having a much higher lifetime earnings record than the other, which then leads to a much higher Social Security benefit versus the member of the couple with the lower earnings record.
However, in the case of a divorced couple , this can be a bit more complicated.
Readers, do you have a Social Security question? Email us at .
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Social Security Benefits And Divorce
If you have been married for at least ten years, then getting a divorce does not prevent you from collecting a share of your former spouses Social Security benefits. If you choose to remarry, then your entitlement attaches to the new spouse and any benefit from your old spouse would be terminated. But, if your subsequent marriage ends in divorce, if it is null and void, or you are widowed, then the first entitlement might re-attach to you. Notably, your spouses subsequent marriage to another person has no impact on your entitlement to collect a portion of the benefits they stand to receive.
Before receiving any Social Security benefits, you must be over the age of 62 years, or older. Additionally, your own Social Security Benefit must be less than what you could receive if you choose to collect part of your former spouses benefits. If you meet these qualifications, then you can receive up to fifty-percent of the benefits due to your former partner. Your ex will likely not even find out you are collecting because they will not be given any notice of your application.
When can I Collect my Ex-Spouses Social Security Benefits?
At the time of your divorce in NJ, you do not have to file any special papers or ask the court for specific orders to enable you to receive your share of social security benefits. This happens automatically, by virtue of federal law, which trumps state law concerning federal benefits.
No Impact on Ex-Spouses Benefit if You Collect
Social Security And Divorce: 7 Myths About Claiming Your Ex’s Benefits
Even if it’s been decades since the ink dried on your divorce decree, those marital vows you took can pay off in the form of higher Social Security benefits. As long as you haven’t remarried, your marriage lasted at least 10 years, and two years have passed since your divorce was finalized, you can qualify for up to 50% of a living ex-spouse’s benefit once you’re both eligible to start collecting.
Many people will get more Social Security simply from claiming based on their own record, rather than an ex’s. But if you have a limited work history, collecting on an ex’s record could give those monthly checks a serious boost.
You Don’t Need Your Ex’s Permission To Capitalize On This Benefit
The average Social Security benefit is about $1,431 per month, or about $17,172 per year. That’s not bad, but you might be able to do a lot better with a little help from the person you’d least expect: your ex.
You might be familiar with the concept of spousal benefits. These are Social Security benefits the government gives to the spouses of qualifying workers, even if the spouses never worked themselves. Well, there are ex-spousal benefits, too. Here’s how they work.
Beware The Blackout Period
As noted earlier, a widow or widower generally doesnât qualify for their own benefits until age 60. However, that person can collect payouts as the caregiver for the deceasedâs children until they turn 16.
The kids themselves qualify for benefits until they turn 18 . But between the childâs 18th birthday and the spouseâs 60th birthday , no one in the family is eligible to collect. Thatâs whatâs known as a blackout period.
Consider, for example a woman is left widowed at the age of 30 with a two-year-old son. As her sonâs caregiver, she is entitled to collect Social Security benefits for 14 years, until his 16thbirthday. After that, her son continues to receive his survivor benefits for two more years, until heâs 18. His mom will be 48 at that point, leaving the family ineligible for any payments until her widowâs benefits become available when sheâs 60. In this case, the Social Security blackout period lasts 12 years.
One possible solution is for families to make sure they have adequate life insurance to support a surviving spouse during any blackout period. Take, for instance, a couple, both 31 years old, who recently had a child. If either parent dies, the surviving spouse is eligible to collect benefits until they are 47 years old . If they both buy 30-year term life insurance policies and keep up with the premiums, theyâll be assured of coverage until age 61one year after Social Security eligibility is reinstatedin case one of them dies.
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Your Social Security Decision Affects Your Retirement Income Plan
It’s important to develop a strategy for when you will claim your Social Security benefit and on whose wage record. Your decision can make a significant difference in your overall retirement income plan. Knowing that you may have a larger Social Security benefit coming from your ex-spouse could make a difference in your cash flow throughout retirement.
Take the time to create your retirement income plan with a Fidelity representative and see how your Social Security benefits as an ex-spouse could make a difference.
I Dont Have My Wifes Social Security Number And She Wont Give It To Me
If you can’t find it, you will have to have to leave it blank, and see if it will let you print your return and file by mail. You can write “refused” in the place for the SSN, and attach a written statement describing the situation and giving as much contact info for her as you can .
In some cases it is possible to be considered unmarried even if you are still married, but this is very rare. You can be considered unmarried if you are “Legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree.” State law determines whether you are “Legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree.” In most states, being legally separated does not count to be treated as single. For example, in New York, separations are usually voluntary even if you file papers with the court. A court order of legal separation is just as expensive and complicated as a divorce, so no one ever gets one. However, I do not know the rules of every state, so I can’t say whether you qualify. If you have a court ordered separation, you might contact a tax attorney and see if you can file single too. Of course, if you don’t have a court ordered separation, you won’t qualify. And if you think you need to file as married, and file with the written statement, the IRS will check out your wife’s return and make a decision.
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