Even if a spouse is not eligible for Social Security, he or she may be able to get benefits if at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. The spouse can also qualify for Medicare at age 65.
How much will my spouse receive?
If your spouse is under full retirement age and qualifies on his or her own record, that amount will be paid 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. If he or she begins receiving benefits:
- before the full retirement age, the amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to his or her full retirement age.If your spouse is under full retirement age and works, his or her benefits may be affected.
- When reaching full retirement age, the benefit can equal up to on half of your full retirement amount.
*A person can receive the spouse’s benefit at any age if caring for your child (until the age of 16) who is receiving benefits.
If you or your spouse are full retirement age
If both you and your spouse are full retirement age, you can apply for retirement benefits and request to have payments suspended in order to receive one benefit and delay the other to earn credits.
If your spouse has reached full retirement age and is eligible for a spouse’s benefit and his or her own retirement benefit, he or she has a choice. The spouse has a choice when applying online to receive only the spouse’s benefit and delay receiving retirement benefits until a later date.
If your spouse worked
If not already receiving benefits, your spouse can apply online for benefits at the same time, or apply online after you start receiving benefits and the eligibility of the spouse will be checked. If qualified, the online application will automatically include a request for spousal benefits.