Am I Eligible For Spousal Benefits?

Category: 
Jan 22 2017 - 7:30am

I am 66 as of Sept 2016 and began my benefits at 62. I currently receive $842 after Medicare deductions. My husband is 78 and receives $1,997.00 following deductions. Am I able to apply and receive spousal benefit since I have reached full retirement age now? I have been told I can not but that info came second hand. I have not been able to find this exact example in my internet searches. Thanks for your help.

Hi,

It doesn't sound likely. If your husband was entitled to his benefits when you filed for your retirement benefits at age 62, you would have also been deemed to have filed for spousal benefits at that time. So, you'd almost certainly already be getting spousal benefits if you were eligible for them, unless an error occurred. You need to check with Social Security to find out for sure, though.

For you to be eligible for spousal benefits, 50% of your husband's full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) would have to be more than twice as much as your own PIA. Based on what you say that your age 62 rate is, it sounds like your full retirement age rate would have been around $1250, so your husband's PIA (i.e. benefit amount before any withholdings or reductions for taking benefits early) would need to be upward of $2500 in order for you to qualify for any spousal benefits on his account.

Best, Jerry