Women May Receive Their
Earned Social Security Benefit and Another as a Wife
Women need to familiarize themselves with what the
program means to them in their particular circumstances
11, 2013 - Understanding Social Security benefits may mean the
difference between living more comfortably versus just getting by in
retirement, especially for married women. Oscar Garcia, Public Affairs
Specialist with the Social Security Administration addresses a question
about a woman receiving her own work retirement and benefits as a wife.
I will qualify for Social Security retirement
based on my own work. My husband will also qualify for his own benefit.
Will I get both my own retirement and a benefit as a wife as the same
The short answer is “it depends”.
If you are eligible for both your own retirement
benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits
based on your record first.
If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your
retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling
the higher spouse's benefits.
Understanding the benefits may mean the difference
between living more comfortably versus just getting by in retirement.
For this reason, women may want to familiarize themselves with what the
program means to them in their particular circumstances.
If you have not worked or do not have enough Social
Security credits and you are married, you may qualify for benefits based
on your husband’s work. When he retires, or if he becomes disabled, you
could be eligible for benefits as early as age 62.
If you choose to begin receiving wife’s benefits
before you reach full retirement age, your benefit amount is reduced and
will not be increased once you reach full retirement age. If you wait
until you reach full retirement age, you will receive the maximum
benefit, which is up to half of the amount your husband is entitled to
receive at his full retirement age.
Medicare enrollment is available based on your
husband’s work when you reach the age of 65.
Even if your husband does not want to receive
reduced retirement benefits, you can still receive a spousal benefit on
his work record. This is possible if your husband is full retirement
age, and he “files and suspends” his retirement benefit. This occurs if
he applies for retirement benefits and then requests to have payments
suspended. That way, you can receive spouse’s benefits and he can
continue to earn delayed retirement credits until age 70.
You can learn more about your Social Security
benefits by clicking on the “Retirement” tab at www.socialsecurity.gov.
What is the “Part B” Medicare monthly premium
Most people pay the standard Part B premium of
$104.90 each month in 2013. If your modified adjusted gross income on
your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return from two years ago is
above a certain amount,
you may need to pay more.
Only about ten percent of Medicare beneficiaries,
those with very high income, are required to pay a monthly premium
greater than $104.90. Tax returns from two years ago are the most
current tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS.
For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov
and select the “Medicare” tab.
Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with
the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him
at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can
also email him at Oscar.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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