Will My Child In Care Spousal Benefits End When I Reach Age 66?

Jan 23 2017 - 5:45am

Thank you so much for your answer to my question about Child in Care benefits and filing on my own record (January 21 2017). I think I need to get the software. I am confused about your answer, however. You said I would still qualify for Child in Care benefits if I file for my own at age 65 years and 7 months. I understand that part, but won't Child in Care benefits end when I turn 66? I always assumed that I would have to file under my own or spousal benefits, or a combination of the two, when I reached Full Retirement Age.

Hi Karen,

Entitlement to spousal benefits can be based on either age, or having an entitled child in your care (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0305.html). In other words, child in care benefits are not really a separate category of benefits. The only difference is that if you start drawing spousal benefits based on age prior to full retirement age the benefit rate is reduced, whereas spousal benefits based on having a child in care are unreduced regardless of the age of the recipient.

So, you won't need to reapply for spousal benefits when you reach age 66. At that point your benefits will continue at the same rate, and it will no longer matter for Social Security purposes whether you have an entitled child in your care or not.

Best, Jerry