You are approaching the age threshold that qualifies you for Social Security retirement benefits, but want to make sure you receive the highest benefit amount possible. While there are basic rules and regulations for receiving Social Security benefits, the intricacies can be complex and confusing. Since this application will affect the rest of your life, you should consider consulting a Social Security attorney before making any final decisions.
Can I Be Eligible For Both My Spouse’s Social Security Benefits & My Own?
Most married couples have earned enough Social Security credits in their lifetime to be eligible for some type of retirement benefit. In short, you will be eligible for either your spouse’s Social Security benefits, survivor benefits, or your own retirement benefits, whichever is greater. Each individual situation will yield a variety of ways you can collect benefits, although not all choices will be easy, nor will they all result in the highest amount of benefits you can receive.
Basic Social Security Retirement Benefits Eligibility
The system is based on credits and age eligibility. In order to be eligible for your own retirement benefits, you have to earn 40 credits during your working years. If you have not earned enough credits, you may still qualify for spousal benefits. You can apply for Social Security benefits before you reach full retirement age, but if you do, your benefits will be reduced for the rest of your life.
Social Security Retirement Benefits Example
For example, Linda qualifies for her own Social Security retirement benefits of $375 and a spousal benefit of $525. When she reaches full retirement age (67 for individuals born after 1959), she will receive her benefit of $375 plus the other $150 from her spouse’s benefit, to equal the full amount of the spousal benefit of $575. If Linda decides that she wants to start receiving her retirement benefits before she reaches her full retirement age, the amount that she will receive will be decreased.
Applying properly and, most importantly, at the right time, will maximize the amount of Social Security benefits you qualify for, and ensure you receive the highest amount of benefits for the rest of your life. If you need legal assistance filing for your spouse’s Social Security benefits or your own retirement benefits, contact or call us at 918-779-3658 for assistance. We can also help you with an appeal or denial of Social Security benefits.