Ask Larry

Can I Get My Husband's Social Security Since He's In Prison?

My husband got a life sentence in prison. Can I get his social security now that I am 62 years old.

Hi. You can't collect your husband's actual Social Security benefits, but you could potentially claim spousal benefits on his record. However, as long as you're still married to your husband then the only way that you could qualify for spousal benefits is if your husband is at least technically entitled to either Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

Your husband can't be paid Social Security benefits while he's in prison, but if he has enough work credits to qualify for benefits and if he meets the other requirements, he could apply for and potentially be approved for benefits. Social Security would then establish technical entitlement for him, but his benefits would be placed in suspense due to his imprisonment. Even if he's only technically entitled to benefits and his benefits are suspended, though, you could still potentially be paid spousal benefits from his record if you meet all of the requirements (

If you believe that you meet the requirements for spousal benefits you can file an application with Social Security. However, if you have enough credits to qualify for Social Security benefits based on your own earnings history, you can't apply for spousal benefits without also being required to claim your own benefits at the same time. And, if you claim benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA) your benefits will be reduced for age. Plus, if you're working, then until you reach FRA there's a limit on how much you can earn and still be paid benefits.

You may want to strongly consider using our software ( to fully compare and analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jan 24 2023 - 1:07pm
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