Keywords: spouses benefits
Description: This Retirement Planner page explains benefits for your spouse.
Even if he or she has never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be able to get benefits if he or she is at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. He or she can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.
Your husband or wife can also receive a spouse's benefit at any age if he or she is caring for your child who is younger than age 16 or disabled.
If your spouse qualifies on his or her own record, we will pay that amount first. But if he or she also qualifies for a higher amount as a spouse, they'll get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount. Your spouse’s application will include both benefits.
If your spouse is under full retirement age and works while receiving benefits, his or her benefits may be affected by the retirement earnings test.
If your spouse will receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security such as government or foreign employment, the amount of his or her Social Security benefits on your record may be reduced .
Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits he or she may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.
If one of your children also qualifies for benefits, there is a limit to the amount we can pay your family.
The total depends on your benefit amount and the number of family members who also qualify on your record. The total varies, but generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your full retirement benefit.
Note: If you have a divorced spouse who also qualifies for benefits, he or she will not affect the amount of benefits you or your family may receive.
If your spouse is not already receiving benefits, he or she can apply online for benefits based on age.
If you and your spouse apply online for retirement benefits at the same time, or if your spouse applies online after you start receiving benefits, we will check his or her eligibility for benefits as a spouse. If he or she is qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits on your record.
If your spouse applies for benefits, he or she needs to be ready to supply the information we need to approve their application for these benefits: