What is the Social Security spouse benefit?


Quick Answer

Spouses of those eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits may be eligible to receive spousal benefits if they are 62 years old or older, notes the Social Security Administration. These benefits may be available even if the spouse has never worked and paid Social Security taxes, as of 2015. Eligible spouses may also qualify for Medicare coverage beginning at age 65.

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What is the Social Security spouse benefit?
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Full Answer

Spouses that qualify for benefits on their own earnings records receive benefits under their own earnings records first, according to the Social Security Administration. However, if the amount the spouse would receive under the other spouse's earnings record would be more, then the spouse will get a benefit amount that equals the higher amount.

If the spouse begins receiving benefits between age 62 up until the spouse's full retirement age, the benefit amount will be reduced by the number of months remaining up to the full retirement age. However, if the spouse waits until full retirement age to get benefits, then the benefit can be equal to half of the other spouse's full retirement benefit. Notably, a spouse that is caring for a child receiving benefits under the other spouse's record can also receive benefits at any age, up until the child turns age 16.

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