receiving retirement benefits, some members of your family also can
receive benefits. Those who can include:
- your wife or
husband age 62 or older;
- your wife or
husband under age 62, if she or he is taking care of your child who is
under age 16 or disabled;
- your former
wife or husband age 62 or older (see "Benefits For A Divorced
- children up to
- children age
18-19; if they are full-time students through grade 12; and
- children over
age 18, if they are disabled.
A spouse receives
one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins
collecting benefits before reaching full retirement age. In that case,
the amount of the spouse’s benefit is permanently reduced by a
percentage based on the number of months before she or he reaches 65.
For example, if your spouse begins collecting benefits at 64, the
benefit amount would be about 46 percent of your full benefit. At age
63, it would be about 42 percent and 37.5 percent at age 62. However, if
your spouse is taking care of a child who is under age 16 or disabled
and receiving Social Security benefits, your spouse gets full benefits,
regardless of age.
If you’re eligible
for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we
always pay your own benefit first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher
than your retirement benefit, you’ll get a combination of benefits
equaling the higher spouse benefit.
Here’s an example:
Mary Ann qualifies
for a retirement benefit of $250 and a wife’s benefit of $400. At age
65, she will receive her own $250 retirement benefit and we will add
$150 from her wife’s benefit, for a total of $400. If she takes her
retirement benefit at any time before she turns 65, both amounts will be
If you have
children eligible for Social Security, each will receive up to one-half
of your full benefit. But there is a limit to the amount of money that
can be paid to a family. If the total benefits due your spouse and
children exceed this limit, their benefits will be reduced
proportionately. Your benefit will not be affected.
Benefits For A
A divorced spouse
can get benefits on a former husband’s or wife’s Social Security record
if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. The divorced spouse must be 62
or older and unmarried. If the spouse has been divorced at least two
years, he or she can get benefits, even if the worker is not retired.
However, the worker must have enough credits to qualify for benefits and
be age 62 or older. The amount of benefits a divorced spouse gets has no
effect on the amount of benefits a current spouse can get.
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