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A spouse receives one-half of the retired worker`s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. In that case, the amount of the spouse`s benefit 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 37.5 percent at age 62. However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits, a spouse gets full benefits, regardless of age.
If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefit first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you`ll receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse`s benefit.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified elder lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local elder attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.