If you're at least 60 but not yet at Social Security's definition of "full retirement age," your payout will be somewhere in the range of 71% to 99% of your deceased spouse's full benefit. If that amount is higher, you may be entitled to the higher amount, based on both records. You can apply for benefits as early as age 60. However, that does not impact your eligibility. Yet if you do not know the facts around Social Security benefits, it’s easy to lose money depending on when you claim. Find out if a husband and wife can both collect Social Security and what rules govern the process. If you do get remarried and later your second marriage also ends in a divorce, as long as you were married to each spouse for 10 years or longer, you can choose between the two spouses' benefits. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. You can receive reduced benefits starting at age 60 or full benefits at your full retirement age. — Married. At some point, you may be asked to provide documents proving your eligibility, such as birth and death certificates, proof of U.S. citizenship, military discharge papers and marriage certificate. This is especially true for people who have lost a spouse. Kron's advice: Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 and schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office to obtain a widow's estimate for his wife. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who has passed away, you could still be eligible for survivors benefits if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. She recently reached FRA (66). John files for Social Security and so does Mary. I started collecting Social Security two years ago. I was told by a senior family member that my husband and I cannot both receive our Social Security … However, the benefit rate payable to a surviving spouse or ex-spouse isn't affected by the entitlement of another surviving spouse or ex-spouse. I have a friend that is Married but the husband lives in Texas and the wife lives in Louisiana. John gets a reduced benefit of $15,000. You can begin applying for your deceased spouse's Social Security benefits either at your local Social Security office or by phone at 1-800-772-1213. If your ex-spouse has died, you may collect Social Security survivors benefits, which follow different rules than those for a living ex-spouse. If you are currently divorced and were married for at least 10 years, you or your ex-spouse could be earning more in Social Security benefits than you … benefit on your husband’s record. A spouse can choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a benefit as little as 32.5 percent of the worker's primary insurance amount. If you do get … She will get $10,000 (50% of $20,000) annually. But while Social Security can feel complicated, you are not alone. 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. Same example as above except that Mary is 66 and John is 62. And if you remarry after you reach age 60 (or age 50 if you are disabled), you will still be eligible for survivors benefits. While that part of the rule is straightforward, there is a bit of a catch: meeting the requirements of a common-law marriage. The short answer is yes. We had no idea there is/was a spousal benefit available to either one of us. Survivor Benefits – When to take Social Security benefits is a decision that has major consequences for not only the worker but their spouse. Q: You've written in AARP Magazine's September/October 2009 issue ( 'Boost Your Income') , and in posts on this blog that a divorced person can collect Social Security benefits based on his or her ex's record. A legal separation does not affect a person's rights to any Social Security benefits he's earned, and only divorce will prevent him from drawing spouse benefits. But you only get the one that pays the higher rate, not both. Divorced spouses may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on their former spouse's earnings record. Both Husband and Wife have worked with example I am 66 and also took my Social Security benefit at 62. A spousal benefit is reduced 25/36 of one percent for each month before normal retirement age, up to 36 months. Social Security benefits are based on the amount of income you earned during your working life. I called then to see if I could collect Social Security, because he was receiving benefits when he died. Benefits paid to the first wife will not affect benefits paid to the second wife. Some of the rules changed in 2015 for people born on Jan. 2, 1954 or later. My wife filed for Social Security retirement at age 62 (4 years ago) under her own earnings. Each spouse contributes to the family while married and may collect benefits even after the marriage ends. A. There are a few mistakes the people make that end up costing their loved ones, advises the recent article “If You Love Your Spouse, Don’t Make This Social Security Mistake” from NASDAQ . 2. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. A lifetime of work later benefits the worker with retirement funds, and the worker's family benefits when the worker dies. 3. To inquire about potential benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Can she file for Social Security? You can't claim spousal benefits until your spouse starts collecting Social Security. Does an Ex-Wife Get Her Deceased Ex-Husband's Social Security Benefits?. Widows that remarry after age 60 (age 50 if disabled), may continue to qualify for benefits on their deceased spouse’s Social Security record. The Social Security benefits you receive as a common-law marriage couple include spousal benefits, survivor benefits and even benefits from an ex-common law spouse. Q. Most working women who reach retirement age get their own Social Security benefit because it’s more than one-third to one-half of the husband… The privacy act would preclude Social Security from releasing information about the entitlement of a surviving spouse/ex-spouse to another surviving spouse/ex-spouse, so they wouldn't necessarily know if another person is drawing benefits. Mary will get 50% of John's FULL benefit as she has reached full retirement age. My wife has never worked. A wife is due between one-third and one-half of her husband’s Social Security. Depending on eligibility, a divorced spouse may indeed be able to collect Social Security benefits through an ex if they were married for at least 10 years. More Articles 1. Talk to an attorney to learn more: 865-566-0800. If your new spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on that record. My wife would like to collect Spousal Benefits instead of Soc Security based upon her own earnings. They told her she could not get his social security which is higher than hers because they don't stay in the same house. The wife prolonged making the divorce final for nine months in order to make sure she would qualify for benefits on her soon-to-be ex-husband's record. JLT: My husband is 73 and took his Social Security benefit at 62. When a Husband Dies, Does the Wife Get His Social Security? If My Ex-Wife Collects Social Security Based on My Earnings Will My Benefits Be Decreased? Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. My spouse and I both have paid into the Social Security system for over 35 years each. Many Americans depend on Social Security as a critical source of income, particularly in retirement. Dear Liz: My husband passed away 10 years ago at age 66. If you will get $650 social security retirement monthly payment based on your own earnings record, but could receive a spousal benefit based on your husband’s earnings history that is higher, you will get the higher benefit, as long as he also has applied for monthly retirement payments. Your spouse has already started taking Social Security withdrawals You’re at least 62 years old, or are caring for a child under 16 Note: If the older spouse hasn’t started taking their benefit yet, we recommend they wait until age 70 , as benefits increase by 8% for each year waited after full retirement age. Second and third spouses may be eligible for Social Security benefits based upon your ex-husband’s work history, depending on the details of their situation. For the Supplemental Security Income program, physical separation, and not legal separation, will affect the benefit amount. First Wife, Second Wife, Third Wife - Who Gets a Bigger Spousal Social Security Benefit? 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