What Social Security Paperwork Do My Future Wife And I Need To Complete Upon Marrying?

Feb 11 2020 - 5:20pm

My future wife and I have decided to marry now that we're both FTA and each receiving our own SS benefits. It appears that we will not suffer a decrease in our monthly SS, as it's our only income. True?
My question:
What Social Security paperwork or procedure do we need to complete upon marrying?

Thanks, Tommy

Hi Tommy,

Getting married would not affect your current benefits if you and your future wife are only receiving benefits based on your own earnings histories. You wouldn't necessarily need to make any report to Social Security if you marry, assuming that neither you or your wife is receiving benefits based on another person's record.

However, if either of you wanted to make a name change you'd need to complete a form SS-5 and submit it to Social Security along with the required documentation (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf). And, if either of you could qualify for spousal benefits you'd need to contact Social Security in order to file an application. If you're both drawing your own Social Security retirement benefits you could only qualify for additional spousal benefits if one of your primary insurance amounts (PIA) is more than twice as much as the other's PIA. And, you generally must be married for at least a year before you can qualify for spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry