Social benefits can go a long way in retirement, especially if your personal savings fall short. It is therefore wise to make sure that you take advantage of all the types of benefits you are entitled to receive.
Pension benefits are the most common form of social security, but if you are married or divorced, you may also be eligible for other types of benefits. In some cases, you can raise $ 800 or more a month from Social Security without effort – even if you have never worked.
What are Spouse and Divorce Services?
If you have worked and paid taxes for at least 10 years, you are generally entitled to pension benefits based on your own work record. However, if you have not worked for that long or are only entitled to a small amount in retirement, you may be entitled to spousal or divorce benefits.
With these types of benefits, you receive a monthly payment based on your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s earnings. In either case, the maximum you can charge is 50% of the amount your spouse (or former spouse) can receive on their full retirement age (FROM).
The average benefit amount is around $ 1,657 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. For example, if you are currently married and your partner is entitled to this amount on their FRA, you can receive up to $ 828 per month in spousal benefits.
Are you entitled to these benefits?
Not everyone is entitled to spousal and divorce benefits. To be eligible for spousal benefits, you must currently be married and your spouse must be eligible for Social Security. So must you at least 62 years of age to begin making claims.
For divorce services, your previous marriage must have lasted for at least 10 years and you are currently unable to be married. However, if your ex-spouse has remarried, it will not affect your ability to claim divorce benefits at his or her job.
If you have been divorced for less than two years, you must also wait until your ex-spouse submits an application for benefits before you can start claiming.
How much can you receive?
If you are entitled to social security based on your own work journal, you can still receive spouse or divorce benefits. However, your benefit amount should be less than what you would receive in other types of benefits and you will only receive the higher of the two amounts.
For example, let’s say you want to receive $ 700 a month based on your own record, and your spouse is entitled to $ 2,000 a month with their FRA. In this case, you would qualify for $ 1,000 a month in spousal benefits, so you would receive a total of $ 1,000 a month – not $ 1,700 a month. If you received e.g. $ 1,500 a month based on your own record, you would not qualify for spousal benefits at all.
Finally, remember that normal requirements still apply. To receive the maximum amount in spousal or divorce benefits, you must wait until your FRA submits application. If you apply before that age (as early as age 62), you will receive a reduced benefit amount.
Get the most out of social security
Social security can be a lifeline in retirement, so it pays to make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to. Spouse and divorce services can increase your payments by hundreds of dollars a month, and by taking full advantage of them, you can adjust to a more comfortable retirement.