Ask Larry

Spousal Benefits

Is It True That My Husband Can File For Spousal Benefits That Could Go Back Six Months?

As the higher wage earner, I'm applying to start SS next month on my 70th bday. My husband(77)has been collectng a small benefit since his full retirement age(66). Once I file, I've read that he can file for spousal benefits that could go back 6 months. Is this true? Would it hurt my benefit?

Friday, June 10, 2022 - 14:34

Am I Eligible For Any Of My Husband's Social Security Even If He Isn't Drawing His Benefits?

I am older than my spouse by 8 years. He is the main earner & I only worked occasionally throughout the years. I have received my Social Security Statement showing I can start drawing now or wait. If I start now I will receive $356. Am I eligible for any of his benefits if I start drawing early even if he isn't ready to start drawing and won't be until 2029, I believe? What difference would it make if I wait till full benefits age?

Monday, June 6, 2022 - 19:28

Am I Allowed To Get Part Of My Spouse's Check Along With My Own Social Security?

I am a newly retired wife and my first social security check has been reduced by WEP at 70%. I also had another Social Security check that stated disability. My spouse is disabled and receives a check from social security. This check is right around 70% of my spouse’s check. Am I allowed to get part of my spouse’s check along with my social security check?

Monday, June 6, 2022 - 14:32

How Can We Figure Out The Correct Amount Of My Husband's Spousal Benefit?

I filed for my Retirement benefit two years ago, at age 62. I have one Disabled Adult Child collecting on my record. My Disabled Adult Child is receiving 50% of my Primary Insurance Amount. My husband just filed for a spousal benefit. He is 69 and has been collecting his own Retirement benefit since age 63. We received a determination letter from Social Security, but we think they made a calculation error with respect to the amount of his spousal benefit.

Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 16:33

Do You Have Any Advice For Me?

1) I am 65 yo recently apprpoved for spousal benefits. TheSSA will not give me the benefit because they wrongly that I receive a pension when i do not. I have tried to get a letter of opm/verification to prove this and release hold and offset with no success. Please advise

Friday, May 20, 2022 - 20:53

If My Wife Files For Spousal Benefits Now Will She Be Able To Collect Even Though My Benefits Are Suspended?

My wife filed and is collecting early SS benefits when she turned 62 in 2015 from her own earnings. Her spousal benefits will be greater than her own SS benefits. I filed for SS and suspended my benefits when I turned 66 in June 2020. If she files for spousal benefits now will she be able to collect those benefits now or willl her spousal benefits also be suspended until I start collecting my benefits at age 70 in 2024?

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 12:35

How Does The Spousal Excess Work?

I am 61 and currently receiving ssdi and KRS disability pension. While talking to a SS rep a couple years ago she mentioned I would be receiving a higher amount on my ssdi and then realized her error in stating that. She said it would be later down the road that I would draw from my spouse.
I’ve been trying to understand the whys and after reading some of your column it seems I may need to really be careful what I do for my future income to be at its highest.

Sunday, May 1, 2022 - 13:01

Am I Entitled To Collect My Husband's SS Instead Of My Own?

I'm not living with my husband and I'm thinking of retiring soon, instead of collecting my social security am I entitled to collect his? I'm 64 years old

Hi. No one can claim another person's Social Security benefits, but you might be able to qualify for spousal benefits if you meet the requirements for those benefits (

Monday, April 25, 2022 - 14:56

Is It Possible For My Wife To Get 50% Of My Benefit?

Currently my wife is collecting her social security which is less than 50% of mine. Is it possible for her to get 50% of my benefit?

Hi. Your wife could only qualify for benefits from your account while you're living if a) you're drawing your Social Security retirement or disability benefits, and b) if your primary insurance amount (PIA) is more than twice as much as her PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing their benefits at full retirement age (FRA).

Sunday, April 24, 2022 - 15:47

How Would My Spousal Benefit Amount Be Calculated?

Dear Professor Larry Kotlikoff
I am older than my spouse and earned less than my spouse. I worked till May 2013. I took SS in March 2014 retro to Sept 2013 at age of 69. As I understand my FRA was 2010 and I got DRC when I took SS. The difference from my PIA ($950) to what I got in September 2013 was $91 and in January 2014 it was ($140)
Now my Spouse is taking SS retro to June 2021. My husband PIA is $2950.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 10:14
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