Can I Get Spousal Benefits?

Category: 
Sep 16 2016 - 11:00am

I TURN 65 IN DEC, CAN I DRAW ON SPOUCEAL HE WILL BE 66 IN JAN. WRIGHT NOW HE IS ON DISABILITY. WE HAVE MARRIED FOR 48 YEARS BUT WE HAVE SEPARATED FOR 15 OR 16 YEARS. I AM ON SSI BECAUSE I HAD 2 STROKES AND HEART TROUBLE. HE MAKES 1944.A MO.

Hi,

You can apply for spousal benefits now if your husband is receiving Social Security disability benefits, however, if you start drawing spousal benefits before you reach full retirement age (FRA) at 66, the benefits will be reduced. You'll also be deemed to be applying for reduced benefits on your own record if you file before FRA.

You say that you're receiving SSI, which is the acronym for Supplemental Security Income (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11000.pdf). SSI is a needs based program, so if that is what you're receiving, you are required to apply for any Social Security benefits for which you are eligible, even if the benefits will be reduced. Also, any income you receive from Social Security benefits will reduce your SSI benefits essentially dollar for dollar.

If you are drawing Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) rather than SSI, you will only be eligible for an excess spousal benefit if 1/2 of your husband's full retirement age benefit amount (PIA) is higher than the full amount of your SSDI.

Best, Jerry