When Should My Husband File For Benefits?

Jan 27 2017 - 12:00pm

My husband is 62 and worked for "free" at his Mothers bar for 35 years. So he has no social security credits. I am 56 and have worked my whole life. We have 2 children under 16 and my husband has a pacemaker, is deaf in one ear and just had hip replacement surgery. Should he file? Or do we wait until I am 65/67?


I'm sorry to hear about your husband's health problems.

Your husband could apply now, but he's apparently not eligible for anything. He'd need to have paid into Social Security for roughly 10 years in order to qualify for either retirement or disability benefits on his own record, and he can't get benefits on your record until you start drawing your benefits. You won't be eligible for retirement benefits until at least age 62, so unless you become eligible for disability benefits before then, that's the very earliest that he could become eligible for spousal benefits.

You may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website to explore your filing options. Since you have an older spouse, you may want to consider filing for your benefits at age 62 in order to permit your husband to start drawing spousal benefits. The best filing strategy depends partly on your future work plans, though, due to the Social Security earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). The maximization software is programmed to handle earnings test issues, so it should help you determine the best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry