3 ways retirees can qualify for Social Security benefits | Smart Change: Personal Finance

(Bram Berkowitz)

The spousal benefit is a large part of the Social Security program. It allows the spouse of a retiree who is claiming Social Security benefits to also receive Social Security, even if they have not worked and would otherwise not qualify for the program.

A spouse can claim a Social Security benefit that can amount to half of his partner’s primary insurance amount, which is the benefit that a retiree would receive if he started collecting the benefits at full retirement age. social Security. In certain scenarios, it can be even more than half.

And the partner’s allowance doesn’t decrease or come from their partner’s allowance, so it’s really a win-win for the couple. Here are five ways people can qualify for the partner allowance.

1. Currently Married Spouses

The traditional way to qualify for the partner allowance is to get married and retire. If your partner is retired and already receiving social assistance benefits, you have both been legally married for a full year and you are at least 62 years old, then you are eligible for spousal maintenance.

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As mentioned above, the spousal alimony can be up to half that of your partner. But keep in mind that if you start the partner benefit at age 62, you will probably only receive about 32.5% of the partner benefit.

If you wait until your full retirement age, which is 66 if you were born in 1954 and 67 if you were born in 1960 or later, you can qualify for as much as 50%.

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2. Divorced Spouses Who Have Been Married For Ten Years Or More And Have Reached Retirement Age

It is not because you are legally separated from your ex-spouse that you are not eligible for the partner allowance. To qualify if you are divorced, you must be 62 years old, have not remarried, and have been married to your ex-spouse for at least ten years.

You must also be separated for at least two years. One nice thing is that even if your partner hasn’t started taking Social Security yet, as long as they qualify for the program, you can start taking the benefits as long as you meet all the other requirements.

If you happen to qualify for Social Security, you can collect your partner’s benefit or your own benefits, whichever is higher.

3. Divorced spouses at any age with children under 16 or disabled

Divorced spouses with children can also qualify for a partner allowance – at any age. The child must be the natural born child of you and your partner, or a child that you legally adopted while you were married.

The child must also be under the age of 16 or be disabled. Divorced spouses do not have to be married for 10 years to receive this benefit. However, the partner allowance only lasts until your child turns 16 or is no longer incapacitated for work.

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