Thursday, June 16, 2022

How To Qualify For Spousal Benefits Social Security

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Social Security Spousal Benefit Rules Every Couple Should Know

Social Security Spousal Benefits – MADE EASY to Understand

The benefits of marriage dont stop at love and companionship. In some situations, marriage can result in more Social Security. If you stay married for at least 10 years, those benefits can last even if you get divorced.

But the rules for marriage and Social Security get complicated. Here are seven things married couples cant afford not to know.

Retirement Age For Those Born After 1937

Year Born 1960 or later 67 years

The system does provide for early retirement at age 62, but also offers higher benefits for people who wait to make their claims after reaching full retirement age. For more information, see Nolo’s article Social Security Benefits: Retirement, Disability, Dependents, and Survivors.

Who Is Eligible To Collect Social Security Benefits

The specific eligibility requirements for Social Security benefits vary depending on the type of benefits, the age of the person filing the claim and, if you are claiming as a dependent or survivor, the age of the worker.

There is one general requirement, however, that applies to all Social Security programs except for SSI : The worker on whose earnings record the benefit is to be paid must have worked in “covered employment” for a sufficient number of years. This means that the worker must have earned enough of what Social Security calls “work credits” by the time he or she claims retirement benefits, becomes disabled, or dies .

For Social Security retirement benefits, you must be between the ages of 62 and 70 to start collecting benefits.

To check on your eligibility, see Nolo’s article Checking you Social Security Earnings and Benefits or call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

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Get Your Social Security Estimates

The SSA website provides estimates for how much you’ll collect if you start receiving benefits at age 62, your full retirement age , and age 70. Remember that you don’t have to start taking your benefits at those milestone ages you and your spouse can start collecting anytime between ages 62 and 70.

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

Do you know how to maximize your social security spousal ...

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

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When Do You Need A Social Security Lawyer

Because of the complex rules surrounding Social Security benefits, we strongly recommend that you speak to a lawyer before filing an application for spousal benefits. If you prefer to file the initial application yourself and your first attempt is denied, you should definitely speak to an attorney.

Our Mississippi Social Security lawyers understand the details of this system. We stand ready to help you fight for the benefits you deserve.

To schedule your free initial consultation with a Mississippi Social Security attorney at Derek L. Hall, PC, call us or visit our contact page now.

    Who Is Eligible For Spousal Benefits From Social Security

    We are often asked How do you qualify for spousal benefits from Social Security? Indeed, to claim Social Security spousal benefits, youll need to meet certain criteria. Your spouse or ex-spouse also must be living .

    The criteria for spousal benefits varies depending on whether youre married or divorced:

    If youre married, to qualify for spousal benefits you must:

    • Be married for at least one year
    • Have a spouse that is already collecting their Social Security benefits
    • Have an earned benefit that is lower than your potential spousal benefit
    • Be age 62 or taking care of a child who is age 16 or younger or disabled, who is the child of your spouse and who is also receiving Social Security benefits based on the spouses work record

    If youre divorced, your benefits arent connected in the same way, so you can claim spousal benefits even if your ex isnt collecting Social Security yet. Note that you do not need the consent of your ex-spouse. Both of you, however, must be at least age 62. If youve been divorced more than once, your benefit can be based on your highest-earning spouse if that marriage meets the qualifications. If youre divorced, to qualify for spousal benefits you must:

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    Getting Ssi And Ssdi At The Same Time

    The main difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSI is meant to offer disability benefits to people with low income. It may not matter whether or not they have either worked. They may not have enough credits to qualify for SSDI. SSDI, on the other hand, is for workers who have managed to attain a significant number of credits. It is possible to get both benefits at the same time. They could be referred to as concurrent benefits.

    If you are applying for both of them, you are required to file for a concurrent claim. In order to qualify for both claims, you have to be considered disabled by the disability standards of the Social Security Administration. If you do not receive the minimum benefits under SSI, your SSDI benefits will increase. After two years, you automatically receive Medicare.

    Can I File For My Social Security At 62 And Switch To Spousal Benefits Later

    Social Security spousal benefits: How to QUALIFY

    If your spouse is not yet receiving retirement benefits, you can claim your own Social Security starting at 62, and later switch to spousal benefits when your spouse files.

    However, if your spouse is already collecting Social Security , then when you claim benefits, you are subject to deemed filing. Again, this means you will not have a choice about waiting and switching. When you apply for benefits, Social Security will automatically consider you to be applying for both your own benefits and any spousal benefits.

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    How Do I Estimate My Monthly Retirement Benefits

    You can estimate your monthly retirement benefits by calculating your PIA, the monthly benefit youre eligible to receive once you reach your FRA. To determine your PIA, the Social Security Administration uses your best 35 years of employment to arrive at your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings . If you havent worked for 35 years, some of the included earnings may be zero.

    If you continue working after reaching your FRA, the SSA will automatically recalculate your benefits each year you continue to work. If your current income is greater than any of your previously calculated best 35 years, your benefits will be adjusted upward. The increase generally will be made in October of the following year but will be retroactive to January 1.

    Social Security retirement benefits are automatically modified each year for cost-of-living adjustments , which are either positive or zero never negative. COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index and have averaged between 1% and 2% over the past 10 years.

    For more information, the SSA offers a helpful Social Security retirement calculator.

    How Are My Social Security Benefit Amounts Calculated

    The calculations are complicated. The amount of any benefit is determined by a formula based on the average of your yearly reported earnings since you began working.

    But to complicate matters further, Social Security computes your average earnings differently depending on your age. If you reached age 62 or became disabled on or before December 31, 1978, Social Security averages the actual dollar value of your total past earnings — and bases the amount of your monthly benefits on that amount.

    If you turned 62 or become disabled on or after January 1, 1979, Social Security divides your earnings into two categories: Earnings from before 1951 are credited with their actual dollar amount, up to a maximum of $3,000 per year and from 1951 on, yearly limits are placed on earnings credits, no matter how much you actually earned in those years.

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    What Are Social Security Credits How Are They Earned

    Social Security credits determine eligibility and benefit amounts in retirement. In 2021, earning $1,470 in income qualifies as earning one Social Security work credit.2 You are eligible to earn up to four credits per year. Most people need 40 credits to qualify for Social Security benefits though younger individuals require fewer credits for disability benefits or for their family members to receive survivors benefits.

    If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment

    Explaining Social Security Spousal Benefits

    If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it.

    If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:

    If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.

    Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.

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    Divorced Know This Significant Exception To The Rule

    When planning your Social Security filing strategy, its important to note that you cannot file for a spousal benefit until the higher earning spouse files for their benefit.

    But this does not apply if your are filing for a spousal benefit from an ex-spouse.

    If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years and your ex-spouse is at least 62.

    Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

    The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.

    Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:

    • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
    • Open a bank account in their name
    • Get medical coverage for them
    • Apply for government services for them

    Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.

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    You Can Get Up To 50% Of Your Spouses Full Benefit

    The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of your spouses primary insurance amount. Thats the benefit theyll qualify for once theyre full retirement age, which is 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later.

    If you take benefits before your own retirement age, youll get less than 50%. For example, if you start your benefits at 62 the earliest age you can take Social Security youd receive just 32.5% of their primary amount.


    How To Qualify For Spousal Benefits

    Social Security Spousal Benefits: The Complete Guide

    Whether youre currently married or divorced determines how you can qualify for spousal benefits.

    You can qualify for spousal benefits if you meet all of these requirements:

    • Your spouse is already receiving retirement benefits.
    • You have been married for at least one year.
    • You are at least 62 years old, or you are caring for a child who is under age 16 or disabled.


    If you are divorced, you can receive Social Security spousal benefits based on your ex-spouses earnings record if you meet all of these requirements:

    • You were married for at least 10 years.
    • You never remarried.
    • You are age 62 or older.
    • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
    • The benefit that you would receive would be more than what youd get based on your own work record.

    Note: Its not necessary for your ex to be taking his or her benefits for you to receive spousal benefits, but if he or she isnt, there is one additional requirement to qualify for spousal benefits. In this case, you must have been divorced for at least two years.

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    Why You Can Trust Bankrate

    Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.

    Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.

    Our reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most how to save for retirement, understanding the types of accounts, how to choose investments and more so you can feel confident when planning for your future.

    How Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability

    SSDI is based on your work history. To qualify, you must be a child or adult with a severe physical or mental condition that lasts more than 12 months. The SSA will look at things like your ability to work, the severity of your disability, and whether you can do some other kind of work. If you qualify, your dependents may also qualify. For purposes of SSDI, a dependent is:

    A spouse age 62 or older

    A child up to 18th birthday if a full-time elementary or secondary school student, or disabled

    An adult child who became disabled before age 22

    A divorced spouse age 62 or older who was married to you for at least 10 years prior to divorce

    A person under age 62 and caring for child under age 16, and

    A person caring for an adult child who became disabled before reaching the age of 22.

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    Documents You May Need To Provide

    We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

    • 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
    • U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
    • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year.
    • Final divorce decree, if applying as a divorced spouse and


    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.

    Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

    What Is Social Security And Who Is Eligible To Receive Social Security Benefits1

    The 2020 Guide to Social Security Spousal Benefits ...

    Social Security is a U.S. federal program that provides enrolled individuals with a source of income when they become unable to work or earn sufficient wages on their own. There are three types of Social Security benefits:

    • Retirement
    • Disability
    • Survivors

    You are eligible to receive Social Security benefits in the United States once youve accumulated 40 work credits as long as you also pay Social Security taxes . Non-U.S. citizens who are living legally in the United States and have earned benefits can also collect Social Security.

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    How To Collect Social Security Spousal Benefits

    If you have limited income, Social Security benefits can serve as a lifeline to help you pay your bills and everyday expenses. These benefits become even more critical if you become disabled or your spouse passes away. In that scenario, spousal benefits through Social Security could become your only source of income.

    Unfortunately, obtaining Social Security spousal benefits is not easy even for people who desperately need help. If youre having trouble collecting Social Security spousal benefits, the attorneys at the law offices of Derek L. Hall, PC are ready to help. Our team has decades of experience with these cases. We always provide one-on-one attention to our clients throughout their case, and we return all phone calls, emails, and online questions within 24 hours.

    Dont let the Social Security bureaucracy prevent you from getting the benefits you need to get by. Call our Jackson, MS social security benefits attorneys or visit our contact page today to schedule your free initial consultation.

    How Much Can I Expect To Get In Social Security Benefits

    The amount of benefits to which you are entitled under any Social Security program is not related to financial need , but is based on the income you have earned through years of working, through jobs and self-employment. Social Security keeps a record of these earnings over your working lifetime and pays benefits based on the average amount earned.

    Your Social Security retirement benefits will vary depending on whether you claim them before or after your full retirement age . The longer you wait to start receiving payments, the higher your benefit amount will be. However, it’s not always better to wait until your full retirement age to claim your Social Security benefits. For information on estimating your benefits, see Nolo’s article Social Security: Checking Your Earnings and Benefits.

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    What Is The Maximum Spousal Social Security Benefit

    The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of the amount that the spouse is eligible to receive at full retirement age. That’s a cap, by the way. If your spouse delays retiring until 70, the spouse gets more but you don’t.

    Survivors may receive up to 100% of the deceased person’s Social Security amount. There’s a complicated formula for families in which more than one dependant is eligible for benefits. It caps the maximum.

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