General Question

seVen's avatar

Can my wife get half of my social security if for instance she originally earns less than me ?

Asked by seVen (3461points) January 27th, 2009

For instance her social security is $500
mine is $1,600
can she take my half which would be $800 instead of her $500?
I’m thinking about this not when I pass away but when I’m still alive ,can she do it?

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18 Answers

scamp's avatar

Are you asking if she can take it from you? I’m not sure I understand you question. I remember asking about this when I got divorced, and was told that as long as I don’t remarry, I can collect from my ex’s benefit because I was mostly a stay at home Mom duirng the marriage.

pekenoe's avatar

Yes, she’s entitled to whichever amount is largest.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

And you have a problem with providing for your wife because…?

pekenoe's avatar

I may have misread the question, your wife is eligible to receive either an amount equal to one half of your ss or her own, whichever is higher.

Because half of your ss is the higher amount she will get that amount but it does not diminish your payment. You still get 1600 and she will get 800

scamp's avatar

This site says: Amount of Spouse Benefits
A spouse receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefits unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. In that case, the amount of spouse benefits is permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he/she reaches full retirement age.

For example, based on the full retirement age of 65, if a spouse begins collecting benefits:

At 64, the benefit amount would be about 46 percent of the retired worker’s full benefit.
At age 63, it would be about 42 percent and

At age 62, 37.5 percent.
However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is either under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits, a spouse gets one-half of the retired worker’s full benefits, regardless of age.

The official site offers much more information and scenarios, such as:
Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:
A widow or widower—full benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60
A disabled widow or widower—as early as age 50
A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits
Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, or adopted children.
Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
Dependent parents age 62 or older

There are also caculators avaiable so you can estimate just how much you will both get.

lucy57's avatar

i got a divorce in 1995 can i still get half of my ex wife’s retirement,she retired in 2007.

YARNLADY's avatar

@lucy57 If you were married more than 10 years, then you probably can, if you meet the other requirements, and not remarried.

jatamian's avatar

So if my brother gets a divorce, his wife is not entitled to his retirement since they’ve been married for only 5 years? It’s currently in the process, January 2011 will make 5 years that they’ve been married.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jatamian The 10 year rule currently applies to Social Security. If there is a company or private retirement plan, the rules might not be the same.

lbeach's avatar

If I stay married for 10 years do I get half of my spouse social security? and if so would I loose it if I remarried?

YARNLADY's avatar

@lbeach Many people think they get half of their spouses benefit. According to the SS website you get an amount equal to half of his, if you have been married more than 10 years, when he retires if you are 62 or older and unmarried. He still gets his full amount.

If your own benefits would be higher than that amount, you will receive SS based on your own earnings, not both.

Don8's avatar

Hi, I am turning 50 in two months. I have been disabled for 16 years due to a severe back injury. Here is my question.. My wife is the bread winner in the family.. When can I draw money off of her Social Security? I have heard different things, like if she dies and I am 50 then yes, I don’t want her to die anytime soon, been married for 26 years.. So, can I get any money from her Social Security when I am 50 because I am totally disabled? I must wait until I am 60 to receive my Union pension because at the time I got hurt I had 9 years 6 months vested and they won’t budge.. It’s hell living on a poor mans disabled check from SS and not getting a raise for 3 years now.. thanks Don

YARNLADY's avatar

A disabled person gets disability instead of social security, and spouse SS benefits only start after the spouse begins receiving benefits. If the spouse benefits would be higher, it is subtracted from the disability benefits.

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