Spouse Has Few or No Social
Question: My wife and I
are nearly 62. She worked little during our long marriage and
does not have enough credits to qualify on her own. If I elect
to collect Social Security at 62, will my wife receive any
benefits, or will we just get my benefit?
Answer: It is not a requirement for her to have earned her
own credits in order for her to receive Social Security
benefits. Though your wife would not qualify on her own record
without the 40 credits, she can still receive benefits on your
She is eligible for spouse's benefits on your record. She
would be entitled to a percentage of your full benefit amount
as early as 62. Her benefit as a wife would be equal to nearly
one-third of your full benefit at 62, and it would increase
depending on her age at the time she applies for the benefit.
The most she can receive as your wife is half your full
benefit amount, but she would have to wait until she reaches
her full retirement age to apply. If she was born between 1943
and 1954, her full retirement age is 66.
Any benefit she receives as a wife on your record would not
reduce your own benefit amount at all.
There is one other stipulation. She cannot receive a wife's
benefit on your record until you decide to start receiving
your own benefit. In addition, she would also be eligible for
a widow's benefit on your record as early as 60. The benefit
amount would be equal to 71.5 percent of your full benefit
amount. It would increase based on her age at the time she
applies for the widow's benefit.
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