If both my spouse and I are entitled to Social Security benefits, is there any reduction in our payments?

When each member of a married couple works in employment covered under Social Security and they meet all other eligibility requirements to receive Social Security benefits, their lifetime earnings are calculated independently to determine their Social Security benefit amount. Therefore, each spouse receives a monthly benefit amount based on his or her own earnings. Couples are not penalized simply because they are married.

If one member of the couple earned low wages or failed to earn enough Social Security credits to be insured for benefits (40), they may be eligible to receive benefits as a spouse.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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