Broker Check

Social Security - Spousal Benefit FAQ's

Q: Can Spouse file for spousal benefits on Husband’s work record?

Yes. Provided Wife is at least 62 years old, she is eligible to file for spousal benefits on Husband’s work record. Even if Wife has not earned enough work credits on her own retirement account, she is eligible to file spousal or survivor benefits.


Q: How much will Spouse receive?

A spouse can earn up to a maximum of 50% of their spouse’s Primary Insurance Amount. Since Husband’s PIA is $2,000 per month, Wife would be entitled to $1,000 per month (1/2 of $2K) if she waits until she reaches her Full Retirement Age (66). If Wife begins collecting at 64, her spousal retirement will be reduced even further because of early filing reductions.


Q: What if Husband had filed early himself? Does that impact Wife’s ability to collect spousal benefits?

No. Even if Husband’s monthly benefit is reduced to $1,500 per month (say for example, he filed at 62), the spousal amount Wife is entitled to if she waits until she reaches FRA remains 50% of Husband’s PIA amount, which is $1,000 per month (50% of $2K).


Q: Can Wife file for spousal benefits and let her own retirement benefits grow?

No. Prior to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, it was allowed under certain conditions.


Q: What happens to Wife’s spousal benefit if Husband dies?

If Husband dies while Wife is receiving spousal benefits, she will then be paid either her own retirement benefit or the survivor benefit she is eligible for, whichever is greater.

Back To Spousal Benefit Page

Back To Social Security Planning Page

Have a Question

Thank you!