When Would My Wife Be Eligible For Spousal Benefits On My Record?

Jan 2 2017 - 12:00pm

Hi, I stumbled onto your site and found it very informative. I plan to purchase the maximize SS SW.

I do have a few questions. I am age 63 as of February 2017. My wife will be age 62 as of July 2017. My wife has been self employed most of her career and has a terminal illness now for which she applied and is receiving disability benefits as of April, 2016. If I begin taking SS benefits as of February, 2017 (63) will she qualify for the spousal benefit as of July 2017 (62) and does this impact her disability status? Is there a provision for her to get a spousal benefit in February 2017 as well?
Does your Maximize SS SW incorporate a disability scenario?

Also, do you know if she would qualify for medicare benefits after "X" period of time on disability and prior to age 65? I read somewhere that after 18 months on disability, Medicare may be an option?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's illness.

Your wife would need to be at least age 62 for a full month and you would need to be drawing your benefits in order for her to potentially qualify for an excess spousal benefit on your record. Also, your full retirement age benefit rate (PIA) would have to be more than double the amount of her disability benefit in order for her to be eligible. The maximization software available on this website does account for all of these variables.

If your wife were to pass away before you start your own Social Security benefits, you may be able to receive widower's benefits while letting your own benefit rate grow until age 70. However, once you start taking your own benefits, you would only receive the higher of your wife's benefit rate or your own benefit rate if she dies before you. And, if you start your benefits prior to full retirement age, your own benefit rate will be permanently reduced.

Medicare eligibility starts after 2 years of disability entitlement. So, if your wife's first month of entitlement to disability benefits was April 2016, her Medicare eligibility would begin April 2018.

Best, Jerry