The amount you will receive from Social Security is determined by several factors, such as your age, earnings history, and length of employment. However, your benefit amount may also be impacted by your marital status. Even if you have never worked, you may be eligible to receive hundreds of dollars more a month in spousal, divorce, or survivor benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Eligibility For Spousal Benefits
You may be eligible for spousal benefits if you are married to someone who is currently receiving Social Security retirement or disability payments. Spousal Social Security benefits can be received without the requirement of prior work experience; you can be eligible for benefits based on your income as well. 50% of your spouse’s benefit at full retirement age (FRA) is the maximum amount of spousal benefits that you are eligible to receive. To receive this money, you will also have to wait till your own FRA. You will get a smaller monthly payment if you file early.
You will only get the greater of the two amounts, not both if your work history qualifies you for retirement benefits as well. For example, your maximum spousal benefit could be $1,000 per month if your spouse receives $2,000 per month at FRA. Your overall benefit amount would continue to be $1,000 per month rather than $1,800 per month if your wages qualify you for, say, $800 per month. Spousal benefits and divorce benefits are comparable, but only for individuals who have filed for divorce. You must not be married at the time of application; however, this will not prevent you from receiving divorce payments if your spouse remarries. Additionally, your prior marriage had to have lasted for a minimum of ten years.
Greatest Social Security Benefits
Your greatest benefit sum is 50% of what your former spouse gets at their FRA, just like with spousal benefits. The greater of the two amounts will be paid to you if your employment history qualifies you for Social Security. Your ex-spouse’s benefit will not be affected if you file for divorce. Based on their employment history, their current partner’s eligibility to receive spousal benefits won’t be impacted if they remarried. Benefits for survivors are similar to those for spouses and divorcés. After their loved one passes away, many people are eligible to receive survivor’s benefits, which are mostly available to widows (er).
Although couples are typically eligible for this kind of benefit, parents, children, and divorced spouses may also be eligible. The amount of your benefit will differ according to your relationship to the deceased as well as other elements including the deceased’s employment history and your age. As of October 2023, the average monthly survivor benefit amount for nondisabled widows (er)s is approximately $1,717, and the average monthly spousal/divorce benefit is approximately $887. It pays to take full use of Social Security benefits if you are eligible for any of these. You can make sure you’re getting the most out of your benefits when you know whatever you’re entitled to depending on your marital status.