Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2020

Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2020

Did You Know That… 69.1 million people received benefits from programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2019.

Ask Bob: Can I Receive Spousal Benefits If I'm Receiving Social Security Disability?

A reader would like to increase her disability benefits by including her husband's Social Security.
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Question

I receive Social Security and SSDI, but I receive very little. Combined I receive $529.00 a month. I am married and my husband has worked much longer than me, he is still working, age 59, both of us. Can I get his benefits which I am sure are much more than mine?

Answer

It is not entirely clear which benefits the reader is currently receiving, says David Cechanowicz, senior financial planner with REDW Wealth. but the most probable explanation is what the Social Security Administration refers to as concurrent benefits. “There are two separate disability programs that may be at work here,” explains Cechanowicz, “Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which can combine in payments to disabled claimants.”

The third benefit mentioned is the spousal benefit that entitles spouses and ex-spouses of a worker to claim a benefit that is based on the earnings record of the spouse worker. No spousal benefits are ever claimable prior to age 62, Cechanowicz notes.

“Spouse benefits are subject to additional rules and limitations,” he says. The first rule is that spousal retirement benefits are not payable unless the spouse worker has filed for benefits. Secondly, spousal benefits are restricted to a maximum number. “That maximum is limited to 50% of the benefit that your husband would get at his full retirement age, which is age 67,” says Cechanowicz. Third, spousal benefits are reduced for the claimant if he or she claims before his or her full retirement age, which for the reader is also age 67.

An example of how the spousal benefit might work in this case would be to assume that your husband has a retirement benefit of $1,600 per month when he turns 67. Regardless of whether he claims early, if you were to wait till your own full retirement age, your spousal benefit would be $800 per month. “Payable at your age 67, that amount would not be added to your current benefits, but would replace them and your benefit would be increased to $800, Cechanowicz explains. “It would make no sense for you to try and claim at age 62, because your $800 maximum benefit would be reduced to $520 for claiming early.”

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Question

I receive Social Security and SSDI, but I receive very little. Combined I receive $529.00 a month. I am married and my husband has worked much longer than me, he is still working, age 59, both of us. Can I get his benefits which I am sure are much more than mine?

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