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Does My Spousal Benefit Affect My Spouse's Social Security? Skip to content

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If I receive a spouse benefit, will it reduce the amount that my spouse receives?

En español | No, receiving benefits on your spouse's earnings record does not affect the amount of the retirement or disability benefit that your spouse receives.

If you are eligible for both a spousal benefit and your own retirement or disability benefit, you cannot collect the combined total. If your benefit is higher, you'll receive only that amount.

If the spousal benefit is bigger, Social Security will pay you a combination of the benefits, drawing on both your Social Security account and your mate's, but equal to that higher amount.

Spousal benefits can range from 32.5 percent to 50 percent of your husband’s or wife’s primary insurance amount, the benefit to which he or she is entitled at full retirement age, depending on how old you are when you claim them.

You can't receive spousal benefits at all unless your husband or wife is already drawing his or her own Social Security benefits. That's if you're still married.

Divorced people can collect benefits on the record of an ex-spouse who is not yet receiving his or her benefits if the divorce happened at least two years ago.


Updated September 26, 2019

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