GOVERNMENT HELP FOR YOUR RETIREMENT
the spouse turns 65. For example, if your spouse started collecting benefits at age 62, his or her benefit would be reduced by 12.5 per- cent, making it 37.5 percent of your benefit, rather than 50 percent. But, if your spouse is taking care of a child who is younger than 16 or is disabled and receiving social security benefits, your spouse will receive full benefits no matter what age.
For those spouses who are eligible for their own benefits, as well as spousal benefits, social security always pays that person’s own benefit first. If the spousal benefit is greater than the regular retire- ment benefits, that person will receive a combination of benefits. First, they would receive their own benefit. Then, they would receive a benefit as a spouse so that the two benefits combined would equal the (greater) spousal benefit.
There are maximum benefit limits that a family is subject to. If you have children who qualify to receive benefits, each will receive
Spousal benefit Spouse’s own retirement benefit Spouse’s retirement benefit paid first Spousal makeup benefit Total Social Security benefit paid
= $750 = $675 = $675
one-half of your full retirement benefits, but then your family will be subject to the maximum benefit rule. If you find that the total amount of benefits your family is eligible for exceeds the limit, your children’s benefits will be reduced accordingly. Your benefit, how- ever, will be left alone.
Divorced spouses may be eligible for Social Security benefits under their former spouse’s work record. The couple must have been married for at least 10 years; the divorced spouse can be no younger than 62 years old and may not be remarried. If the couple has been divorced for more than 2 years, the former spouse may claim benefits even if the other person is still working. However, that person must have the required number (40) of credits needed and be at least 62