An Easy Guide to the Social Security Spousal Benefits Application

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Application Process

We know that applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be tricky to navigate when you have a unique situation, which is why we created this guide to help you understand the Social Security Spousal Benefits application process.

Spousal benefits are available to the spouse of individuals collecting disability benefits. Eligible individuals include spouses married for at least one year, divorced spouses who were married at least 10 years, and surviving spouses.

It is important to note that this is only available for individuals receiving Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are not sure if you qualify for spousal benefits, contact us to get your free evaluation! Our qualified team members are ready to help walk you through the application process.

Individuals Eligible for Spouse’s Benefits

Even if you never worked and contributed to Social Security, you may still qualify for benefits if you fall under one of these categories:

  • Spouse or divorced spouse of a retired worker.
  • Spouse or divorced spouse of a disabled worked.
  • Widow/widower or surviving divorced spouse of a deceased worker.

Spouse’s Benefits

Benefits are payable to you as the spouse according to either of the following required guidelines:

  • If you are age 62 or older — unless you collect a higher Social Security benefit based on your own earnings record. The spouse benefit amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months until your full retirement age.
  • At any age — if you are caring for the disabled worker’s child who is under age 16 or disabled. You can receive benefits until the child reaches age 16, at which point the child’s benefits continue, but your spouse’s benefits stop unless you are old enough to receive retirement benefits (age 62 or older) or survivor benefits as a widow/widower (age 60).

If you are eligible for retirement benefits on your own, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will always pay that amount first. But if the payable spouse benefits is a higher amount, you will receive a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount.

Divorced Spouse’s Benefits Requirements

You may receive benefits on your divorced spouse’s accord if you meet all of these qualifications:

  • You must have been married for at least 10 years.
  • Age 62 or older.
  • Unmarried.
  • Not eligible for an equal or higher benefit on your own Social Security record, or on someone else’s Social Security record.

Survivor Spouse’s Benefits Requirements

If you are the widow or widower of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you may be eligible to:

  • Receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60.
  • Begin receiving benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s date of death.
  • Receive survivors benefits at any age — if you have not remarried and you take care of the deceased worker’s child who is under age 16 or is disabled.

Divorced Survivor Spouse’s Benefits

If the disabled worker was receiving SSDI benefits at the time of death, a divorced spouse is eligible for benefits under the following requirements:

  • Age 60 years or older or
  • Disabled and between ages 50 and 60 years

If you, as the surviving divorced spouse, get remarried before age 60, then benefits will be denied unless you were between age 50 and 60 and disabled at the time of marriage.

Parent’s Survivor Benefit

If you are the spouse of a disabled worker collecting SSDI benefits at the time of death, you can collect benefits if you are caring for at least one child of the disabled worker under these guidelines:

  • Child is under age 16 or
  • Child is disabled and has been since before age 22.

Let Us Help You!

The requirements set by the Social Security Administration can be difficult and confusing to manage alone. That is why we have a team of trained specialists ready to help guide you through these steps in the Social Security Spousal benefits application and provide you with real assistance in the application process.

Contact us today to find the help you need to receive the benefits you deserve!

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    1. Do you expect to be out of work for at least 12 months?

    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

    5. Are you currently working with a disability advocate?

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