Spousal benefits allow a husband or wife to receive a portion of a spouse’s Social Security benefits, even if the spouse has never worked. Similarly, auxiliary benefits go to the spouse of a disabled individual receiving SSDI benefits. Spousal benefits can make a big difference in your life and finances, but it is important that you know all the facts so that you can receive the benefits you deserve. The following is a look at some little known facts about Social Security spousal benefits as explained by our Manhattan Social Security Disability attorneys at Seelig Law Groups.
If you and your former spouse divorced, but you are still unmarried, you may be able to claim Social Security spousal benefits. You will need to demonstrate that you are over the age of 62, your marriage lasted for over 10 years, and your ex-spouse is entitled to receive either retirement or disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Former spouses under the age of 62 may be able to claim auxiliary benefits, so long as the marriage lasted over 10 years.
Those who wish to seek spousal benefits will need to apply for their own retirement benefits at the same time that they claim spousal benefits. You cannot elect to receive one and delay the other, as you previously were permitted to do. Spouses seeking auxiliary benefits based on a spouse’s SSDI claim do not need to make any additional claims, but must be under the age of 62.
To qualify for Social Security benefits on your own, you will need to have accumulated over 40 Social Security credits. Credits are earned by working annually, with the ability to earn up to four credits a year. To receive spousal benefits, however, you do not need to have a work history. Common recipients of benefits include stay at home moms. Similarly, you do not need a work history to receive auxiliary benefits based on your spouse’s SSDI benefits, but you must be the joint caregiver of children from the marriage that are under the age of 16.