Should A Combined Family Maximum Apply In Our Case?

Sep 28 2017 - 8:20am

Combined Family max or just Family Max?
Dear Larry,
Your FAQs are extremely helpful. I hopel you can help determine by rights for SS payments.
I retired at 66 and started collecting Soc Sec. on my work record ($1002). Six months later, my spouse retired at 66 and started collecting Soc Sec benefits on his own work record ($2647). My disabled adult son, age 35, and lives with us, started collecting SSDI & Medicare more than 8 years ago on his work record after his job ended ($732). Both my disabled son and I applied for additional benefits on my husbands record when he applied for social security.
My son gets 1/2 of my spouses PIA ($1323). and I am declined spousal benefits because social security says we exceed the family max benefits.
I believe they need to include my record and I should receive a spousal benefit of approximately $308 based on combined family maximum.
Social Security disagrees with me and has stalled on this for over 10 months. Am I correct that I should receive spousal benefits in addition to my own PIA?
Thank you for any help you can provide.


It sounds like the family maximum benefit (FMB) on your record could be combined with the FMB on your husband's record, which I believe should enable you to receive a spousal benefit close to what you've calculated. However, in order to permit combining of the FMBs your son must be entitled to benefits on both records. He would actually only receive benefits on your husband's record since it's higher, but Social Security needs to establish at least technical entitlement for him on your account before the FMBs can be combined.

If technical entitlement on your record has already been established for your son then I don't know why you aren't already getting the spousal benefits, but if it hasn't you should contact Social Security to initiate the appropriate paperwork. Please note that I'm basing my answer solely on the information provided in your question, so there may be other factors involved of which I'm unaware.

Best, Jerry