Senior Wants to Know Why Social Security is So
Interested in Our Marriage History When We Apply
senior needs to show proof of his income from SSA and wants to know if
this is available online.
June 12, 2013 - Many options involving Social
Security depend on your spouse and Oscar Garcia, public affairs
specialist with the Social Security Administration, explains several of
them to a senior who wants to know why there are so many questions about
spousal history when we apply for benefits. He also tells another senior
how to get proof of his benefit online.
Why does Social Security make it a point to ask about current and past
marriages when a person applies for their own benefits?
Social Security will look at all possibilities to
make sure you receive the maximum benefit possible. This includes
spousal benefits. Social Security can be an important financial asset
for married couples when the time comes to apply for retirement
If you did work and pay into Social Security, we
will check eligibility based on your work record and your spouse’s to
see which amount is higher. You can apply for spouses benefits the same
way that you apply for benefits on your own record.
You can apply for reduced benefits as early as age
62, or for 100 percent of your full retirement benefits at your full
retirement age. The benefit amount you can receive as a spouse, if you
have reached your full retirement age, can be as much as one- half of
your spouse’s full benefit. If you opt for early retirement, your
benefit may be as little as a third of your spouse’s full benefit
If your spouse has already reached full retirement
age but continues to work, your spouse can apply for retirement benefits
and request to have the payments suspended until as late as age 70. This
would allow the worker to earn delayed retirement credits that will mean
higher payments later, but would allow you to receive your spouse’s
You can also apply for spouse benefits based on the
earnings record of an ex-spouse or deceased spouse if you were married
for at least 10 years. Spouses can consider a number of options and
variables. We make it easier to navigate them. A good place to start is
by visiting our benefits planner at
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. Take note of the “Benefits
As A Spouse” section.
I need proof of my Social Security income. Can I
get verification online?
Yes, and the best way to get a benefit verification
letter is by using a “my Social Security” account. Your personal “my
Social Security” account is a convenient and secure way for you to check
your benefit and payment information, change your address, phone number,
and direct deposit information, and to get your benefit verification
You can use your benefit verification letter to
verify your income, retirement or disability status, Medicare
eligibility, and age. When you use “my Social Security” to get it, you
can request which information you would like included in the letter.
Learn more, use “my Social Security”, and get your benefit verification
letter now at
Our offices experience unusually high visitors
during the summer, so going online for your benefit verification letter
can save you time over a trip to the local Social Security office.
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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