Family, Criminal & Children's Court Attorneys Since 1991

Social Security spousal benefits: who qualifies?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2022 | Divorce, Property Division |

Spousal benefits are benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are based on your spouse’s work history over the last few decades. Sometimes, you may be eligible to receive spousal support from the SSA even if you are no longer married. If you’re a Wisconsin resident, here are some important things you should know about spousal support.

What is this benefit based on?

Usually, SSA spousal support is based on a spouse’s highest-earning years of work in a 35-year period. However, if you don’t have an extensive work history or your spouse earned significantly more than you, you may receive more money from spousal support. However, you may have to meet additional criteria.

Qualifications for SSA spousal benefits

If you’re currently married, here are some additional qualifications you’ll need to meet to receive spousal support:

-You must have been married for at least one year

-You’re at least 62 years of age OR

-You’re caring for your spouse’s child who is under 16 years of age and disabled

-Your spouse currently receives retirement benefits

If you’re 62 years of age or older and your spouse has not yet received their retirement benefits, you can start taking advantage of your own retirement benefits and claim your spouse’s benefits when they file.

However, this is not permitted if you qualify for disability benefits, are caring for your spouse’s disabled child (who is 16 or younger) or if your birthdate is before January 2, 1954. It is also important to note that the benefits will be subject to taxes if your income is above a certain threshold.