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Who is Eligible to Receive Social Security Benefits?

Social security benefits are not just for those who are retired. Social security benefits may also be received by spouses, ex-spouses, children, and certain individuals with disabilities. Let’s take a look at who is eligible for social security benefits.

Can I Receive Social Security Benefits?

Working and paying social security taxes allows you to earn “credits” toward social security benefits. Generally, you earn 4 credits for each year you work and pay into social security. To receive social security benefits, most workers need 40 credits, which is equivalent to about 10 years of work. To determine if you are eligible for social security benefits, we recommend you visit the Social Security Administration’s website. Learn more about how social security benefits are calculated here.

Can My Spouse Receive Social Security Benefits?

Spouses of working individuals may receive benefits even if he or she has never worked outside of the home. The earliest your spouse can begin to collect is when he or she reaches 62 years old. If your spouse chooses to wait until he or she attains full retirement age, he or she can receive up to ½ of your social security benefit.

Can My Ex-Spouse Receive Social Security Benefits?

Your ex-spouse may be able to receive social security benefits based on your working record. This can occur even if you have remarried. A few instances include:

  • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer
  • Your ex-spouse is 62 years old or older
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement of disability benefits

For more information and to view requirements, please visit the Social Security Administration’s website.

Can My Children Receive Social Security Benefits?

If you reach retirement age and have unmarried children under the age of 18, or 19 that are still in elementary or secondary school, they may be able to receive social security benefits based on your benefits. Additionally, children with certain disabilities may receive social security benefits. It is important to note that benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefit. For more details, please visit the Social Security Administration’s explanation of children’s benefits.

Let’s Talk

Are you interested in learning more about how social security will impact your retirement? We can assist with social security planning and determine which social security strategy is best for you. Are you trying to decide if you should take social security at age 62? Or if you should wait until age 70?

Let’s talk. Set up free no pressure and no obligation meeting.


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