Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

A Lawyer Can Help You Claim Social Security Benefits

by Jamie Nichols

If you are married, you are likely eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits your spouse would receive at full retirement age. The amount you would receive is based on their employment history and not your own. As a result, you could be eligible to claim this money even if you have never worked yourself.

Maximizing Benefits

The amount of spousal benefit you would receive is based on when your spouse initiated it. Your spouse must currently receive benefits, or have filed and suspended their benefits. If the benefits are filed and suspended by your spouse, this allows your spouse to file for benefits at their full retirement age, and then suspend the payment until they reach age 70. This then allows you to file for spousal benefits, which would provide you with income until your spouse delays the payments.

The amount you receive from the spousal benefit will be higher if you claim it when you are at full retirement age. You can start claiming for benefits when you are 62, but doing so will reduce the amount you will receive each month.

If you are ready to file, a social security lawyer, like Christopher R Vanroden, can walk you through the process and help you file the proper paperwork.

Strategies If You Both Work

If both you and your spouse work, you can still receive a percentage of your spouse's benefits. For example, if your spouse is collecting benefits or has filed and suspended the benefits, you can receive spousal benefits when you reach full retirement age, and then delay the benefits based on your work history, which will increase your benefits.

Benefits For Former Spouses

If you and your spouse are divorced, you may be able to receive their benefit based on your former spouse's work record. Before you can do this, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Currently unmarried
  • Former marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • Divorced for two years or longer
  • Both you and your former spouse are 62 years of age or older, and your former spouse is entitled to receive Social Security benefits

You do not have to tell your former spouse that you are going to or have filed for divorced spousal benefits. The rules are the same rules as those for married couples.

You should contact a lawyer to help you, as when and how you claim for the Social Security benefit can make a big difference in your future income. You should work together with your spouse to develop the best strategy that is based on your needs. Your lawyer can help you come up with this strategy, as well as offer you much more advice.