Social Security spousal death benefits are available to eligible beneficiaries. If you apply for Social Security spousal benefits, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of the process.
Today we go over eligibility and how you to start the application process. Simplifying everything about Medicare is our goal; keep reading to learn more about benefits and benefits calculation process.
Spousal Death Benefits for Social Security
What are Social Security spousal benefits? These are disability benefits or partial retirement benefits for spouses of eligible taxpayers.
If you’re a current or even an ex-spouse, you both can get the spousal benefit. To file, you must be at least 62 years old.
Even if you never had employment, you may be able to qualify through your spouse. Also, this applies to Medicare eligibility, as well.
So, if your spouse meets the work criteria for Medicare, you can qualify too because of their employment taxes. You must wait for your spouse to register for their benefits before you apply for spousal benefits.
Social Security Spousal Death Benefits Rules
When you apply for spousal benefits, there are some general “rules” that you can expect.
If you have an employment history, you may receive either your spouse’s benefit or your benefit, whichever of the two is the greatest.
You may receive up to 50% of your spouse’s benefit.
If your marriage lasts for at least one year, you’re eligible to apply.
You could apply for spousal benefits if your marriage were over ten years, and if your divorce lasts for a minimum of two years. Although, if you re-marry, you generally can’t collect benefits on the former partner unless your new marriage ends.
Also, if an ex-partner is eligible for retirement but waiting to claim, you can still qualify on their record if the divorce was at least two years ago.
Many people experience a reduction in payments if they take funds early; so, delaying retirement is normal. Understanding the full retirement age is important when understanding your benefits.
Spousal Death Benefits
If you’re a widow or widower, you may get a survivor’s benefit at 60 years old. Their application for benefits can be restricted to file for their interests or their widow/widower.
You can later switch to the other benefits amount. If your spouse passes away, you can receive your benefit, or your spouse’s but not both together.
Surviving spouses may be eligible to collect an extra payment of $255 with Social Security funds.
Social Security Spousal Death Benefits Calculator
The amount that you’ll get in spousal benefits is dependant upon a few different things. It depends on your eligibility to get other benefits, age, and your spouse’s benefit amount.
The amount of income you earn determines your amount. Also, if either spouse was working, the age of the beneficiary, and the spouse’s age.
If an ex-spouse collects benefits, that doesn’t affect the total amount of benefits you or your family receive.
Spousal Benefits Application
There are things you may want to know before applying for Social Security. The application process is easy, and a variety of ways to enroll is available.
There are several ways for you to apply for spousal benefits:
- Apply online by using the Social Security Retirement/Medicare Benefit Application
- Apply by phone at 1-800-772-1213
- Schedule an appointment and apply at your local office
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have similar questions about Social Security Spousal Death Benefits; we want to ensure the murky waters of retirement become clear. Understanding this stuff can be difficult, but for our clients, we’re here every step of the way.
How are you qualified to receive spousal benefits from Social Security?
You qualify for spousal benefits if:
- The marriage lasts for a minimum of one year
- You’re at least 62 years old or caring for a disabled child or child under 16 years old
- If your spouse is currently collecting their retirement funds.
If my spouse dies, will I get his/her Social Security and mine?
You can receive either your benefits or your spouse’s, but you cannot win both at the same time. Social Security administers the benefit of the two.
How are spousal benefits calculated for Social Security?
When Social Security calculates spousal benefits, they base it off the age of retirement of the beneficiary and the spouse, as well as their income.
Is it possible to collect Social Security benefits from both my deceased spouse and my own?
You cannot combine both your own and your spouse’s benefit, but Social Security pays the higher of both amounts. If the survivor’s benefit is higher, you’ll receive that.
If the retirement payment is the higher of the two, you’ll receive that instead.
Whether the survivor’s benefit is more substantial than your interests is dependent upon your age and the amount of your spouse’s benefit.
How can I maximize Social Security with spousal benefits?
For married couples with incomes that are quite similar and with longer life expectancies, an excellent option to consider when maximizing funds could be delaying your claim. If you’re a couple who may have a shorter life expectancy, you may want to claim earlier.
Lastly, if you’re a couple who may see a big difference between both incomes, you could claim spousal benefits rather than claiming your own.
Call us today or complete an online rate form for help from one of our expert agents.